Major cause of Thalassaemia is cousin marriage. Dr. Saima Farhan

Lahore (Qasim Ali) Every year an estimated 5000 to 9000 new patients of thalassaemia are diagnosed, the blood disorder which is found to affect children, requires blood transfusion every month and the complications that require constant expensive treatment. According to estimates, around 5pc – 10 million – of Pakistanis carry the genes for the disease, and around 5,000 children are born with thalassaemia major every year. Half of the affected children succumb before they reach adulthood due to the treatment options not being affordable for all said, Dr. Yasmeen Ehsan(Project Coordinator, Punjab Thalassaemia Prevention Program) while addressing a one day symposium held by City Lab & Research Centre at Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Punjab University Lahore. One day symposium was organized by City Lab & Research Centre, Lahore to raise awareness about the thalassaemia and importance of blood donation. While addressing at the symposium Dr. Muhammad Faisal Bashir, PhD (Molecular Virology) CEO City Lab & Research Centre, Lahore said that their lab is providing authentic screening tests for thalassaemia and other diseases like HIV, Hepatitis C & B etc. He further said that City lab is providing cost effective, latest screening and test facilities to millions of patients, maintaining international standards and providing cost effective diagnostic services, through its network of franchise spread across the country.

Dr. Saima Farhan Consultant, Hematologist Children Hospital, Lahore shared that a major cause of Thalassaemia is cousin marriage, senior Hematologist further added that there are three kinds of thalassaemia: major, intermedia and minor. An individual with thalassaemia major suffers from the disease their entire life, while people with thalassaemia intermedia are at risk of developing thalassaemia major at any time. People with thalassaemia minor carry the trait for thalassaemia major, and can transmit it to their children, but children only suffer from thalassaemia major if they inherit it from both parents. Dr Saima opined the need of good diagnostic labs and research centre like City Lab & Research Centre to detect the disease.

Dr. Saba Riaz and Dr. Shabana Assistant Professor, Punjab University, Mrs. UzmaIrfan Lecturer, Women University Multan and a large no of students, pathologists, and academic attended the symposium.