Thalassaemia Major a blood disease, is an important health problem for children in Pakistan. It is an inherited disease and proves fatal during first few years of life unless proper attention is given for its early diagnosis and treatment. The disease is now considered treatable, though management is expensive. Large number of children are born every year with this disease specially in middle and poor class families who can not afford the heavy financial burden of treatment and need support to save the life of the effected children.
Considering the gravity of the situation “Pakistan Thalassaemia Welfare Society” (Registered No. VSWA/ICT/123 of 1991) was conceived by a wide panel of experienced and highly qualified senior pediatricians and doctors from various provinces of Pakistan. This Society is working under the direct patronage of Ministry of Health, Government of Pakistan.
A Treatment Centre was established at P.M.A. House, Liaquat Road, Rawalpindi, in 1992, where blood transfusion and chelation was started on five registered patients. The opening ceremony was performed by the Renowned Scientist, Dr. A. Q. Khan, H.I. The society is the pioneer in starting thalassaemia treatment in the country. Due to its wide-spread awareness campaign, the number of patients grew rapidly and similar treatment centers were established in all major cities of Pakistan. Due to the heavy congestion at the PMA House, the society has now moved to its own five storied building on Tipu Road. The registered patients have now risen to over 1800 and more than 500 are attending regularly for transfusion and chelation. The aim is to offer expert treatment to the existing patients and more importantly to prevent fresh births of such patients by advisory centers for genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis. This is the only way to prevent the spread and ultimate eradication of the disease as has been achieved in Italy & Greece & Cyprus etc.
The Society being a member of Thalassaemia International Federation, Cyprus, has achieved international status, and gets the news of the latest research & development on the subject from various centers of the world. The activities of Pakistan Thalassaemia Welfare Society are appreciated and published in Thalassaemia International Federation, Cyprus news letter.
The Society has been registered with Pakistan Science Foundation as a Scientific N.G.O. It is functioning on contributions and donations from philanthropists and Pakistan Science Foundation. We are also grateful to the Infaq Foundation, Karachi, for its valuable support. Support from Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal is also expected.
The Central Board of Revenue has granted exemption under Income Tax Ordinance to philanthropists who are kind enough to patronize it.
Your will appreciated that the task in hand is not only tremendous but also humane and noble. The Society has a firm resolve to serve humanity and decrease the frequency of Thalassaemia in Pakistan. For this purpose moral and financial support is essential. Research in the field of collection of population based data prognosis and mortality of the disease and establishment of prenatal diagnostic centres and genetic counselling cells all need considerable financial and manpower requirements.
The press has been very cooperative in promoting the awareness campaign. Various colleges & Pakistan Red Crescent Society and the Armed Forces Institute of Transfusion are always helpful in providing blood for the patients.