A thalassemia awareness seminar was held at the Government College University Lahore under the auspices of its Blood Donor Society (BDS) and a non-government organization (NGO), Kashif Iqbal Thalassemia Care Centre (KITCC).

Advisor to Chief Minister on Health Hanif Khan Pitafi was the chief guest at the seminar which was addressed by Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi and KITCC representative Asif Hameed Butt.

Speaking on the occasion, health advisor Hanif Khan Pitafi said that they were working on a law to declare thalassemia test mandatory for couples before marriages to reduce chances of this fatal disease. He asked students to act as volunteers in their families and areas, and also use social media to raise awareness about this genetic disorder.

Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi said prevention case is always better than cure. He paid glowing tribute to NGOs working for thalassemia prevention and care, saying that thalassemia major child had a very difficult and painful life and in order to survive, these children require regular monthly blood transfusions. He also lauded the efforts of Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid for improving health care facilities in Punjab, in particular thalassemia and Alzheimer.

Earlier, KITCC Asif Hameed Butt said, “Thalassemia minor or carrier is not a disease and normally does not require any medical treatment, but when one carrier marries another; they could have a chance of having an offspring with thalassemia major which is dreadful and fatal,” He said the ratio of Thalassemia carriers was high in families where cousin marriages were common.

A plea was made by the seminar participants to enact the law to declare thalassemia test mandatory for couples before marriages. 

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