Thelesemia !!! Is it not a horrible word? Well if I am asked, the same question my reply will defiantly be YES it is horrible indeed. This word reminds me the time when I met the legendary actor of Pakistani Film Industry, Muhammad Ali.
It was 2003, and those were my post matriculation days. I was enrolled in Peak Solutions for the course of computer foundations. In those days, Mr. Muhammad Ali visited the campus to collect some blood donation, for his Ali Zaib Foundation. That time when I heard this word for the first time and realized that it is among the dieses has no specific cure.
Over the years, this word remains to me some disease that has no cure and makes a child victim even before he borne.
Thalassemia is a hereditary disease of the blood caused by genetic defects in the patient’s body, which result in production of an abnormal form of hemoglobin, thus causing anemia.
I was reading a report published in Daily Dawn a few days back and it revealed some facts to me here I am sharing some of them:
“All unmarried people and those married ones who are planning to have a child (even though their existing children are normal) should get themselves tested for thalassemia carrier status by a blood test called HbA2, Hb Electrophoresis or Hb HPLC,” Dr Sheikh said who is also the president of PMS. “
Thalassemia is 100 per cent preventable but one cannot always prevent malaria, typhoid, Hepatitis B, C and HIV since there is a risk of exposure to these infections and no vaccine is 100 per cent effective,” he said.
“The disease is more common in the people who are originals of Thalassemia belt – Mediterranean countries like Cyprus, Sardinia Greece, Middle-East, Pakistan, India, Burma and Thailand,” he said.
This past Saturday was the world Thalassemia day and Ayesha Mehmood a fellow PYRmember and the leading person of FAiTh (Fight Against Thalassemia) was here in Lahore and I got chance to meet her before she leave the city. First, I really admire the courage of Ayesha API, she is a patent of these dieses herself but she is trying to create more and more awareness on this hidden enemy. FAiTh (Fight Against Thalassemia) had arranged a free Thalassemia tests on that day and raised the slogan of “I am Tested Are you?”
Well I am not tested yet but sure, I will get myself tested soon. Ayesha Api told me the reason that why don’t she get their website sponsored. In this conversation one point was strange and believe me it sadden me. Ayesha API told me that most of the donation is international and the amount of donation for the cause the get from Pakistanis is not even nominal.
Whets wrong with us. It is something I am not able to answer to myself at times. People like Ayesha Api deserve support as their fight is for the people; they try to make sure what happen to them should not happen to anyone else. However, this should not be wrapped in the sympathy and all that because it is a cause and cause demands devotion and sincere support not the sympathy. Because one can never be fed up of devotion but sympathy never remains the same.
Any ways it was nice meeting you Ayesha Api, hope to meet you again and I believe that your visit to Lahore and Meeting with PYR Lahore was a good experience for you. Anyhow all the best for the cause you are part of and do let me know if I can do any good in this cause, because what I want to see Pakistan free from Thalassemia along with all other bad things.