By Rafiq Vayani
KARACHI: Usman Institute of Technology (UIT) affiliated with NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi, recently held an event organized by UIT Alumni, Mr. Tehseen Ahmed, Mr. Yasir Ahmed and Mr. Saifullah Khan. The event was collaboration with the Help Transform Welfare Organization (HTWO) and Sahira Foundation to raise awareness about Thalassemia, a blood disease that is on the rise in Pakistan. The event outlined the steps that have to be taken in order to rid the country of this blood disease. Firstly, marriages between Thalassemia Minor couples should be avoided. To identify the disease a simple blood test should be taken by both males and females planning on getting married. If both the male and female have Thalassemia Minor the marriage should be avoided. The blood test is an essential part of the diagnosis since patients may seem physically fit.
Thalassemia is a group of blood disorders passed from parents to children through genes (inherited). A person who has thalassemia makes fewer healthy red blood cells. Their red blood cells do not produce enough hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen throughout the body. People with severe thalassemia can have various medical complications. They might also require lifelong blood transfusions for treatment.
The HTWO is a nonprofit non-government organization which contributes to society by holding blood donation drives, awareness sessions and events to help those in need by empowering themselves. The HTWO president, Mr. Tehseen during his session stressed the need to have mandatory tests as part of the admissions process for engineering students. As part of his efforts he stated that he has held several meetings with various university directors and has requested the Chief Minister Sindh to make an amendment to graduate admissions. Zahir Ali Syed Director, UIT stated that – “Our awareness activities focus on simple steps that can be implemented to reduce the condition’s potentially devastating effects and improve the quality of life for thalassemia patients. One of our top priorities is to ensure people are aware of thalassemia and are able to recognize its symptoms as early as possible.”