LAHORE - The Punjab government is going to establish Thalassemia Centres in Pediatric ward of every DHQ hospital in the province.

These centers would be equipped with all the diagnostic facilities and will also cover curative aspect through provision of injection ‘Desferol’, blood components transfusion facility and other needful medication. A meeting to make deliberations and recommendations in order to extend Punjab Thalassemia Prevention Programme throughout the province was held at ACS Conference Room, Civil Secretariat Lahore under the Additional Chief Secretary Punjab Shamail Ahmad Khawaja in chair.  The meeting recommended job security to the current project workers and emphasized the need to increase general awareness and enhance services to the Thalassemic patients so that the increased demand could be met.

The recommendations include transforming Punjab Thalassemia Prevention Programme into an IT proficient project and legislation for Thalassemia screening of spouses before marriage on mandatory basis.

The meeting also recommended that the Punjab government should introduce “Health and Hygiene” as compulsory subject at different levels from class 6th to class 10th both in public and private educational institutions.

The Punjab government would also ponder over the establishment of “Punjab Health TV Channel” to impart awareness as well as distant-training, the ACS hoped. Shamail Ahmad Khawaja termed this fact a good omen that the Punjab government has utilised Rs 200 million on provision of bone marrow transplant facility to the Thalassemic patients during the last two years at Institute of Child Health Lahore.

Medical Director Institute of Child Health & Children Hospital Lahore Dr. Ahsan Waheed Rathore, Professor of Paediatric Department Dr. Akmal Laeeq, Project Director Punjab Thalassemia Prevention Programme, Dr. Shabnam Bashir, Member Health P&D Board Punjab Dr. Shabana Haider, Special Secretary Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Dr. Sajid Mehmood Chohan, Addl. Secretary (Techical) Dr. Salman Shahid and Addl. Secretary (Staff) S&GAD Ashiq Hussain Olakh participated in the meeting.