ISLAMABAD, Dec 19 (APP):President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday called the need for an effective policy to introduce single blood screening facility for simultaneous detection of Thalassemia and Hepatitis to overcome the challenges of life-threatening diseases.

Addressing here at the two-day 14th National Thalassemia Conference and Workshop, the President said stringent steps were required to control Thalassemia including raising public awareness by using platforms of media and mosques.

The event was organized by the Thalassemia Federation of Pakistan at Rawalpindi Medical University, which gathered doctors and paramedics from across the country.

President Alvi said the government had placed the health sector in its priority list with increased budgetary allocations.

He said there were 0.1 patients of Thalassemia in Pakistan, adding the disease could be controlled by taking precautionary measures.

He called upon philanthropists in the country to financially support the treatment of Thalassemia patients.

The president said a patient Usman, who lost his life in fight with Thalassemia, would be given a posthumous presidential award in March 23 for his services for his fellow patients.
Special Assistant to PM on National Health Services Regulations and Coordination Dr Zafar Mirza said the government was taking steps to provide healthcare services to all segments of the society.

He stressed implementation of Thalassemia Prevention Control Programme to control the disease and suggested blood screening and counselling as important steps before marriage.
Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said six percent population of the country was suffering with Thalassemia and called the need for expansion of prevention control programmes in all provinces. She said next November 8 would be observed as National Thalassemia Day.

Managing Director Pakistan Baitul Maal Aun Abbas Bappi said Thalassemia Centres had been established in different parts of the country with around Rs 70 million spent on these patients.

President Thalassemia Federation of Pakistan Lt Gen (retd) Moeenuddin Haider said 56 societies were affiliated with his organization and supporting the welfare of Thalassemia patients.