Islamabad - President Mamnoon Hussain has underlined the need for creating awareness among people for prevention from thalassaemia noting that lack of education, unsafe blood transfusion and ignorance from the basic principles of hygiene lead to the spread of this fatal disease.

President Mamnoon Hussain said this while addressing an awareness campaign on the occasion of World Thalassaemia Day organised by Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal here yesterday.

The President emphasised that educational institutions, teachers and Ulema can play an important role for sensitising the public against this disease.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmad, Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar, Mayor Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation Sheikh Ansar Aziz and Managing Director Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal Barrister Abid Waheed Sheikh were also present on the occasion.

The President noted with concern that in Pakistan the number of people afflicted with thalassaemia has reached 9 million and 6,000 children are born with the disease every year emphasising the need to undertake effective measures to control this chronic disease. President Mamnoon stressed that only solution for prevention from this disease is to enlighten the people about causes that lead to thalassaemia.

The President appreciated Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal for establishing a national level state-of-the-art Pakistan Thalassaemia Centre catering to the needs of millions of patients across Pakistan.

President Mamnoon noted that establishment of a such a fully equipped facility is a matter of satisfaction as the treatment of thalassaemia is quite expensive and the government deserves praise for extending funds in this regard.

The President appreciated that treatment of thalassaemia is under the supervision of highly trained doctors and medical staff in Pakistan Thalassaemia Centre and called for setting up its branches in far-flung areas which desperately need such facilities.

President Mamnoon urged the well-to-do segment of society to cooperate with the government and welfare institutions in order to meet the challenge of thalassaemia. He lauded Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal for extending services to people in different sectors including treatment for complex and fatal diseases, provision of technical training to young men and women, providing sustenance and care to orphan children and making efforts to eliminate child labour.

President Mamnoon advised MD Bait-ul-Mal to establish and develop linkages with similar organisations in the private sector who are rendering services in the cause of humanity and learn from their experiences and achievements. He called upon the people to rid the country of corruption and advised them to discourage the corrupt elements and socially ostracise them.

The President was critical that in the past no attention was paid to avert energy crisis and no planning was done to construct dams and initiate power projects. He appreciated that now top priority is being accorded to overcome load shedding and the Government had initiated nuclear, hydel, coal, gas, wind and solar based projects upon completion of which the country will almost get rid of load shedding by 2018.

President Mamnoon said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project has opened new vistas of progress in the country upon completion of which Pakistan will become the most important country in the region. He urged the people to support the Government in completion of the CPEC projects and foil all attempts by vested interests who create hurdles in the way of its completion.

Terming CPEC projects as national projects, the President said that Pakistan’s destiny and prosperity are linked with it. President Mamnoon urged the people to acquire education particularly the women who constitute 50% of the population and country’s workforce.

The President advised the parents and teachers to focus on character building of students along with formal education. He urged the youth to be proud of their culture and traditions and not to blindly ape the West.  Earlier, the President visited the blood transfusion ward and was also given a detailed presentation on thalassaemia. The President also distributed certificates among the staff members of Pakistan Thalassaemia Centre who have rendered invaluable services in the cause of humanity.