Headquarters BWP Corps has set up first ever 'Thalassemia Unit' in Child OPD of CMH Bahawalpur.

The organizers said that the treatment room is fully equipped for blood transfusions to three children at one time. This capacity will be increased if required. The treatment, which is advised by a doctor who is specialized in diseases of the children and infants, is provided under continuous supervision by trained nursing staff, they added.

They noted the affected children will be kept 'upbeat' with snacks and juices. Pamphlets on the subject will be made available for the parents and attendants. The record of such children and their family history will be maintained, which will be analyzed and discussed with the parents during their follow up visits.

The information acquired through the medial history of the children, parents and their families would be a useful source for reliable data for scientific research on Thalaseemia in Bahawalpur and the surrounding areas. Awareness seminars will be held at regular intervals for all families. Counseling for the parents will be provided by the child specialist and the clinical psychologist of CMH Bahawalpur.

As per experts, Thalassemia is a dreadful disease which creeps very discreetly into various families, owing to presence of a 'recessive' (hidden/unexpressed) gene for this disease. The prevalence of Thalassemia in Pakistan has been found to be between 3-8% of the population.

Due to lack of Knowledge and awareness as well as unscientific approach towards proactive measures against a preventable disease, the incidence is rather increasing at an alarming pace. Where the disease has already expressed its painful presence in children, It's our obligation to take all essential steps not only to treat the affected children but also to minimise the complications through appropriate treatment.

Thalassemia is an inherited form of blood disease. The disease weakens the red cells of the blood which causes their destruction. This damage to red blood cells is compensated / treated by regular blood transfusions. But then frequent blood transfusions cause iron overload in blood, which is turn needs to be treated with medication. This medication is quite expensive and is required on regular basis.