Democracy imperative for public-centric legislation to root out Thalassemia: Marriyum

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APP96-08 ISLAMABAD: May 08 - Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting addressing a ceremony in regard to International Thalassaemia Day. APP

ISLAMABAD, May 8 (APP):Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister for Information and Broadcasting said on Tuesday that continuity of democracy was imperative for public-centric legislation to root out the diseases like Thalassemia as democracy was the only system of the governance having public representation.
Addressing an event organised in connection with World Thalassemia Day, she said that no government and stakeholders could tackle a fatal disease like Thalassemia without due cooperation and consent of the masses.
She said that the present parliament for the first time after 1977, had enacted 133 flagship laws during past five years which was a landmark achievement. She said most of the pieces of legislation done by the parliament in the past five years were related to health, education, thalassemia and improving living standards of the people of Pakistan.
She said that present government had taken effective measures for prevention of Thalassemia including the setting up of a Thalassemia Center in Islamabad on the instructions of Begum Kalsoom Nawaz, which was one of the major initiative in that connection.
She urged all the patients under treatment at the Thalassemia center to pray to Allah Almighty for the safety and early recovery and return of Kalsoom Nawaz. Marriyum revealed that the PML (N) government had waged a war against Thalassemia and had been successful in containing it to a great extent.
The minister informed that the ministry of Information and Broadcasting was going to run an awareness campaign regarding Thalassemia on official media i.e. PTV and Radio Pakistan. She said that PTV’s Parliament Channel to be launched soon would cover proceedings of the Parliament and its committees live. She urged the private media to be a part of the campaign to save lives.
She said that the treatment for Thalassemia was not only expensive but it was also a traumatic experience for the family, adding that the provincial governments should declare emergency at the provincial level for the treatment of the disease.
She said that minor and major Thalassemia was transmitted to the children because of marriages between close relatives, particularly marriages between cousins. The minister said that the parliament had done legislation under which pre-marital screening had been made mandatory and a column had also been added to the wed-lock form in that regard. She said that due to prior screening the real situation would be unraveled and if the process involved changing of the traditions and mindset it should be done without any hesitation.
The minister said that emergency had been declared as far as mother and child malnutrition was concerned and emphasized the need for steps to be taken on war footing to overcome the issue of stunting growth.
The event was organised by Jamila Sultana Foundation and Safe Blood Transfusion Programme.