President for joint efforts to eliminate thalassaemia

APP79-08 ISLAMABAD: May 08 - President Dr. Arif Alvi addressing the celebration of World Thaelesemia Day at Aiwan-e-Sadr. APP

ISLAMABAD, May 8 (APP):President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday called for joint efforts to eliminate thalassaemia from the country for which every citizen would have to play their due role.
He stressed for running a mass awareness campaign through media to sensitize the common people about the disease and preventative measures.
The president was addressing a seminar held in connection with the ‘World Thalassaemia Day’ here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr under the auspices of Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM) under supervision of Ehsaas, a government’s poverty alleviation programme. First Lady Samina Alvi, Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Chairperson Dr Sania Nishtar and PBM Managing Director Aon Abbas Buppi were also present.
Dr Alvi underlined necessary steps to be taken in addressing problems and difficulties caused by the disease and said a data-bank comprising patients’ profiles and setting up a helpline for thalassaemia patients were imperative for an organized struggle in that regard.
“Pakistani youth are very enthusiastic about public well-being, particularly students have great passion for blood donation,” he said, adding the educational institutions had a key role in mobilizing them for the noble cause.
The president said majority of the people were reluctant to donate their body organs and suggested a ‘donor card’ system should be launched in country to motivate the masses becoming members of the organs donation community.
He emphasized that screening of individuals before marriage could be supportive as an initial assessment to reduce risk of thalassaemia diffusion to next generation. Since mass screening was not possible at present stage so targeted medical tests should be conducted, he said.
The president highlighted that the prime minister was mindful of the prevailing health and poverty issues in the country. The government was making all-out efforts for improve the health sector, besides alleviation of poverty.
He appreciated the young thalassaemia patients present in the audience, for their commitment and strong will of fighting the disease, saying the entire nation was with them in their fight. “Pakistan is for you and you are for Pakistan,” he said while motivating them to continue their efforts for survival.
He said it was the government’s duty to provide all the best possible facilities to the thalassaemia patients, besides taking steps to eliminate the disease.
The president lauded the BISP chairperson for making efforts to alleviate poverty from the country. He also appreciated the services being provided to the thalassaemia patients made by the PBM.
Dr Alvi distributed certificates of excellence among the doctors and notables for their excellent volunteer services for the thalassaemia patients and the organizations dealing with the disease.
Later, the president hosted an Iftar dinner for the thalassaemia patients and intermingled with them. He met their parents/ guardians and inquired after the children’s health.
The First Lady also mixed up with the children and their mothers. She remained with them for some time and discussed the issues being faced by them in dealing with the thalassaemia disease.

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