Walk Organized by Al-Shifa Blood Bank Foundation, Mirpur to celebrate World Thalassaemia Day

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Walk Organized by Al-Shifa Blood Bank Foundation, Mirpur to celebrate World Thalassaemia Day

Al-Shifa Blood Bank Foundation organized a walk at Mirpur to mark World Thalassaemia Day 2012. The objective was to create awareness about this fatal disease among masses. Minister for State Ch. Arshad Hussain, Chairman Al-Khidmat Foundation, Dr. Riaz Ahmed, General Secretary Thalassaemia Society Pakistan, Dr. Zafar Iqbal, President Thalassaemia Society Dr. Akram Chaudhary, Technical Advisor GIZ Blood Project, Mr. Usman Waheed, General Secretary District Bar Association, Advocate Majid Javaid, President Al-Shifa Foundation, Raja Zakir, Vice President, Mr. Ikhlaq Wazir, Chairman Al-Shifa Foundation Ch Waseem Iqbal, thalassaemic children, university students and general public from Mirpur city participated in the walk. Colorful umbrellas were also distributed among the participants on this occasion.


Ch. Arshad Hussain, Minister for Electricity AJK Government was the guest of honour. Talking on the occasion he appreciated the efforts of Al-Shifa Blood Bank in organization the awareness walk. He promised to discuss the legislative aspects of thalassaemia prevention in the parliament and very soon the AJK Government will pass a thalassaemia prevention bill from the parliament. Dr. Riaz Ahmed, President Al-Khidmat Foundation highlighted the need of continuous financial support from the civil society. He requested the government to provide reliable detection and identification methods such as Haemoglobin Electrophoresis in theDHQHospitalfor the screening of thalassaemia.


Usman Waheed, Technical Advisor GIZ Blood Transfusion Project emphasized on having legislation on pre-marital screening of thalassaemia. He said that thalassaemia is the most frequent hereditary disorder inPakistanwith an estimated 8-10 million carriers. The disease runs in families due to inter marriages within relatives. Screening along with proper counseling to couples and families at risk can avoid this disorder. Dr. Zafar Iqbal, General Secretary Thalassaemia Society Azad Kashmir Chapter, said that incidence rate of thalassaemia is increasing due to limited diagnostic facilities in peripheral areas and lack of awareness in the population. There is need to start extensive awareness campaign among the masses to prevent the disease. He also said that the prenatal diagnosis (a test during pregnancy) is also an effective strategy to control thalassaemia.


Zakir Hussain, President Al-Shifa Foundation encouraged the young students to come forward and donate blood voluntarily to help these thalassaemic children. He also urged that people should register themselves as blood donor voluntarily to save precious lives. Mr. Majid Javaid, General Sec. Dist. Bar Association Mirpur discussed the achievements of the foundation and challenges faced which requires support from the community and government officials.


Al-Shifa Foundation and Blood Bank was founded in 2008 and since then working for the availability of safe blood for the thalassaemics. The foundation is registered with the Social Security department, Thalassaemia Federation Pakistan (TFP) and included in National Blood Programme’s Inventory of Blood Donor Organizations.