Making Pakistan Thalassemia-free government’s target: Marriyum

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ISLAMABAD May 8 (APP): Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Monday that due to the visionary policies of Prime Minister of Pakistan and support of the stakeholders Pakistan would soon become thalassemia-free country.
Addressing a function organised by Jamila Sultana Foundation, an NGO working for welfare of thalassemia patients, she said that Pakistan’s parliament was the first legislature which had a full fledged secretariat on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which also include overcoming diseases like HIV AIDS and thalassemia.
The task force on SDGs has the responsibility of oversight of the projects in the health sector.
The minister said that the present government had done the legislation to add column for blood screening in the Nikkah Nama.
She remarked said that the legislation done by national and provincial assemblies was a milestone step in dealing with the problem of Thalassemia and also a manifestation of the concern among the policy makers about the problems faced by the country.
She said that the Parliamentary Task Force on SDGs would soon organise a parliamentary conference on Thalassemia which would help all MPs to know about the number of patients of this disease in their respective constituencies.
The minister said that Prime Minister’s health insurance card had been introduced for provision of free of charge medicines to the poor patients and thalassemia patients could also benefit from this scheme.
The minister said that thalassemia center in Islamabad has been set up by the Pakistan Baitul Mal on the directives of the Prime Minister. She said that wife of the Prime Minister Begum Kulsoom Nawaz not only inaugurated that centre but also has been personally monitoring its performance and details of the help provided to the patients.
The minister disclosed that in the Punjab, special thalassemia
sections are being set up at all district hospitals and hopefully this initiative would help to mitigate the problems related to the disease.
She said that after the 18th amendment, powers had been devolved to the provinces as strengthening their health sectors was need of the hour.
She said, PTV has launched a programme to create awareness among the masses on the national issues including health related matters.
She asked the Jamila Sultana Foundation to provide information for prevention of thalassemia which would be broadcast on PTV, Radio Pakistan and private news channels through Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).
The minister urged all stakeholders to come forwards and play their role in making Pakistan thalassemia free as early as possible.
She asked media to play its role in creating awareness among the masses on the issue of thalassemia as this could prove a vital factor in prevention of the disease.
The minister said that on the directives of the prime minister,health related matter including thalassemia were being included in the revised curricula at the federal level and as it would go a long way to create awareness on the issue among the new generation.
She said that another issue being faced by the country was stunting problem among the new born basis due to malnutrition and creation of awareness on this matter was also vital.
The minister said that thalassemia was one of the real issues being faced by the country and the entire country stands by the parents of the victims of thalassemia.
She appreciated the role of all stakeholders including NGOs, donors and individuals helping the patients of this disease.