HYDERABAD - Thalassaemia is on rise in Pakistan and the statistics indicated that about three to four thousand children are born with the more virulent form of the disease.

Eminent paediatrician and Professor Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences Dr Salma Shaikh informed while talking to APP here on Thursday.

She said that Thalassemia is spreading rapidly and devouring innocent lives. She said that the affected kids needed fortnightly blood transfusion to stay alive.

He urged every member of the society to promote awareness for pre-marriage thalassaemia blood test for the sake of innocent lives to flourish. She informed that carrier rate has also risen to about six per cent of the population and this figure could be increased further if preventive measures were not adopted with serious concern.

According to statistics, she informed that annually an estimated 6,000 Thalassaemic children born in the country ,of them 60 to 70 per cent succumb to Hepatitis- B or Hepatitis-C and die before reaching the age of 10.

The women with three months pregnancy should be brought at Thalassaemia Center for test, she said and emphasized the need of launching a massive campaign for the prevention of Thalassaemia.She observed that there were 25 per cent chances of having ‘Thalassaemia major’ in every pregnancy in case two Thalassaemia carriers got married.

Dr. Salma said with the spotlight on blood borne diseases like Hepatitis C and Hepatitis-B, there is a general tendency in the country to ignore the threats of Thalassaemia.

She said that there has been little attempt to educate people on the threats and inconvenience associated with Thalassaemia and along with other health problems, entails lifelong transfusions with all the risks of disease causing germs being transmitted to patients.

She also said that Thalassaemia-afflicted patients across all age groups run higher risk of contacting infectious diseases, as they have to receive regular blood transfusions in addition to being exposed to the regular risk factors that may cause infections.

Dr Salma expressed her concern over poor response of the government to the burgeoning threat. There are few Thalassaemia Canters in the country and if more centers establishes in the country at government level, the number of children born with the disease could be controlled, she said.

Dr Salma Shaikh said that due to rising incidence of the disease in the country, the government should do well to make parental testing for the fatal disease part of the pre-natal tests, which the health ministry regularly advocates through the mass media.

She informed that these tests should be available to the general public at subsidised rates at the government hospitals, so that a large section of people can benefit from this preventive measure.

Dr Salma Shaikh also underscored the need to raise awareness about the hereditary blood disorder so that it could be effectively prevented.

She urged the government to pass a bill making pre-marital screening mandatory so that the society could be made thalassaemia-free.