Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) Lahore and the Research & Policy Planning Unit of the party jointly held a one-day blood donation camp for Fatimid Foundation last month. Workers from all over Lahore poured in for this noble cause.
Thalassemia is an inherited (i.e., passed from parents to children through genes) blood disorder caused when the body doesn’t make enough of a protein called haemoglobin, an important part of red blood cells.
People affected by milder forms of thalassemia can develop mild anaemia or may have no signs or symptoms of the condition at all. Intermediate forms of thalassemia can cause mild to moderate anaemia and may be associated with other health problems such as slowed growth, delayed puberty, bone problems and/or an enlarged spleen. In addition to the signs and symptoms seen in intermediate thalassemia, people with severe forms of thalassemia may also experience severe anaemia, poor appetite, paleness, dark urine, yellow discolouration of the skin (jaundice), and enlarged liver or heart.
Most thalassemia patients would live up to the age of 25 to 30 years. Patients suffering from Thalassemia have to go through regular blood transfusion and therapy to remove excess iron from the body to stay alive.
According to WHO, Maldives has the highest incidence of thalassemia in the world with a carrier rate of 18 percent of the population. The estimated prevalence is 16 percent in people from Cyprus, 1 percent in Thailand, and 3–8 percent in populations from Bangladesh, China, India, Malaysia and Pakistan.
During Covid, especially during the lockdown, provision of blood to such patients was a big challenge for organizations like Fatimid Foundation, Sundas Foundation and others. Even after the end of the lockdown, these organizations were facing problems in obtaining sufficient blood to cater to the needs of the thalassemia patients in Lahore. The PML-N decided to partner with Fatimid for this noble cause.
PML-N leaders Khawaja Salman Rafiq and Khawaja Imran Nazir took full ownership of the initiative. On ground coordination with Fatimid and workers by Saira Iftikhar and Ex-Mayor of Lahore Col Rtd Mubashir Javed was commendable. PML-N has decided to hold such camps on regular basis.