KARACHI, May 7: Thalassaemia in children is on the rise in the country and every year 6,000 thalassaemic babies are born in Pakistan, experts said at a programme for thalassaemic children and their parents at the Bismillah Taqi Institute of Health Sciences, here on Sunday.

Pakistan Thalassaemia Federation President Lt-Gen (retd) Moinuddin Haider said that it was a matter of grave concern that cases of thalassaemia in children were rising in the country. He said that both federal and provincial governments should take a stern notice of the situation and devise a strategy to check this fatal disease on war footing basis.

Mentioning that thalassaemia is the most common hereditary disease in Pakistan, he said that awareness about this disease should be raised amongst the masses. He said that drugs used in the treatment of thalassaemia were very costly. He urged the local pharmaceutical companies to give attention to the production of anti-thalassaemia drugs.

Dr Saqib Ansari, child thalassaemia expert, said that six per cent population of Pakistan was the carrier of 'Thalassaemia Minor'. He said that when two persons carrying thalassaemia minor married the disease was transferred to their children. He stressed that two carriers of thalassaemia minor should avoid marrying each other.

Baqai Medical University Vice-Chancellor Lt-Gen (retd) Dr Azhar, Dr Muhsan Anwari, Asad Iqbal and others also spoke.—PPI