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ABBOTTABAD: Speakers at a one-day national symposium on thalassaemia have said that a countrywide prevention programme should be launched to control the disease which is spreading at a fast pace. They said that currently 5.5 per cent population was carrier of thalassaemia symptoms.

The symposium was organised by Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad, and Thalassaemia Foundation of Pakistan jointly at AMC here the other day. The event was attended by professors, surgeons and experts in pathology and community medicines besides a number of patients along with their parents.

The speakers included chairperson of Thalassaemia Foundation of PakistanProf Javeria Manan, head of Fatima Memorial College, Lahore, Dr Adil Akhtar, Prof Arshad Zafar, Prof Yasmin Ehsan and several other experts.

The experts and prominent consultants in their presentations discussed the clinical effects, proper management and protocol to be followed to provide medication to the patients mostly of junior age. They said that due to prolonged treatment of the patients, both the parents and kids went into a state of anxiety and depression which created social and financial problems for the families.

They said that a proper legislation for screening could save the families from difficulties. The topics which were covered included management of thalassaemia, iron chelation protocol in thalassaemia major, bone marrow transplant and issues related to blood transfusion.

The speakers also put forward suggestions to the doctors for clinical treatment, and deficiencies noticed during blood transfusion. They said that screening of the families was one of the best preventive steps to avoid spending huge cost on treatment.

It was also demanded that one psychiatrist should be appointed in each of the blood transfusion centres who could bring out the families from disorder of feeling badly about future of their children.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2018