Islamabad - A two-day seminar by the department of public health, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University, on advance concepts for management of thalassaemia major will start today (Thursday) at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in connection with International Thalassaemia Day. The International Thalassaemia Day is celebrated every year on 8th of May to increase the awareness about this disease among common public all through the world. Sessions will be conducted on scientific approach for thalassaemia prevention, thalassemia prevention program in Children Hospital-PIMS, role of genetic modifier in management of beta thalassaemia major, role of blood bank in thalassaemia management, endocrine complications in thalassaemia, treatment for thalassaemia, an update on bone-marrow transplant in Pakistan, outcome of bone-marrow transplant.

The seminar on advance concepts for the management of thalassaemia major has been organised to provide service providers an insight and perspective to understand how the advance concepts can be considered for renewed management options, said department of public health head and SZABMU Administrator Dr Altaf Hussain.

The activity will go a long way in sensitisation of not only doctors, nurses, medical students and paramedics but also to the community/ families of patients to ponder and achieve preventive endeavours to reduce future disease load for hospitals and households, he added.

Thalassaemia is one of the challenging hereditary diseases which can be eliminated by proper awareness of the service providers and community with proper counselling, management and preventive measures both from the community and service providers perspectives said Dr Waseem Khawaja, media coordinator for the session.

PIMS Children Hospital has bone-marrow transplant unit established in collaboration with an Italian nongovernmental organisation Cure2 Children Foundation since January 2009. Around 1200 cases have been registered of Thalassaemia in Children Hospital and this is the only facility in a public hospital in Pakistan designated for Thalassemic children.

About 5 percent of general population in Pakistan carry potential genetic predilection for this disease and approximately about 5000 children are born with thalassaemia major each year. Thus, there is a dire need to establish national collaborating centre for thalassaemia registry and training at public health department of SZABMU, stressed Dr Waseem Khawaja.