LAHORE: Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has announced tabling a bill in the Punjab Assembly to declare thalassaemia test mandatory for marriage to effectively check the incidence of this deadly disease in the newborns.

The chief minister was speaking at a ceremony hosted for the thalassaemia patients at the CM secretariat here on Sunday.

Mr Buzdar met with the children suffering from the disease and had a chat with them. He said the children were like flowers of society’s garden and the government wanted that they should spend happy and comfortable life.

He said the government would make all out efforts to help the ailing humanity.

Stressing the need to launch an effective awareness campaign, the chief minister said thalassaemia was an inherited disease and it could be uprooted by adopting preventive measures.

Mr Buzdar said first the scope of thalassaemia test laboratories would be extended to the divisional level and in the second phase to the districts.

He said the Punjab government would provide all available resources for the prevention of the deadly disease, adding there was a lot of room for improvement in the health sector.

“I am witness to problems of the healthcare sector and seen patients dying due to lack of medical facilities,” he said.

The chief minister asserted that the PTI government would work round-the-clock for improvement in the health sector.

“In the five-year term, the PTI government will take such measures for the improvement of the health sector that had never been taken during the past seven decades,” he said.

Health minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said thalassaemia patients were living as productive members of society and the prevention programme was working effectively in Punjab.

The Thalassaemia Federation of Pakistan president Moeenud Din Haider said the running of prevention programme by the Punjab government was praiseworthy.

He said the sector would improve further due to the public-private partnership.

He stressed the need for encouraging blood donors to help such patients.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2018