Thalassemia Awareness Seminar

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Social Welfare Society- Peshawar Medical College held a Thalassemia Awareness Seminar on November 28th 2012 at Peshawar Medical College. The seminar was organized by Blood Wing of Social Welfare Society. The main objectives of the seminar were to raise awareness about Thalassemia, and to show support and solidarity with those afflicted with Thalassemia.

Thalassaemia is an inherited blood disorder wherein the human body is unable to produce adequate amount of Hemoglobin in the Red Blood Cells (RBC). This results in severe anemia (deficiency of red blood cells).

Children suffering from this blood disorder require a blood transfusion every month of their lives in addition to treatment for iron overload due to the excessive number of transfusions.

As part of the seminar, various medical and non-medical institutes of Peshawar were invited to be part of the seminar by competing in Poster, Video and Inter-colleges Quiz competitions. These competitions were followed by lectures by renowned guest speakers. The main speakers of the event were, Dr. Akhtar Zarin Khattak, Head of the Haematology Department at Kuwait Teaching Hospital, Peshawar Medical College, Peshawar; Dr. Abdul Hameed, consultant pediatrician and Director of Thalassemia Prevention Project KPK; Dr. Ihsanul Haq, former Health Secretary, and Chairman of the Governor’s Inspection Team, KPK; and our honorable chief guest Dr. Saqib Hussain Ansari, Consultant Pediatric Hematologist and General Secretary of Omair Sana Foundation, who had flown all the way from Karachi to share his knowledge on Thalassemia.

The seminar commenced with the recitation of the Holy Qur’an by Mahdi Haq, Suha Maha Khan, stage secretary for the event, officially welcomed the distinguished guest speakers, faculty members and the students.

Dr. Akhtar Zarin delivered the opening remarks, giving the audience an overview of Thalassemia, spoke about the prevalence of beta-Thalassemia in Asia, and touched upon various social norms responsible for it.

Lauding the efforts of the Blood Wing, Dr. Saqib Hussain Ansari, the chief guest of the Thalassemia Seminar, spoke about his ongoing research in the field of Thalassemia and stressed that further work needs to be done, in order to curtail the spread of this disease.

Dr. Abdul Hameed spoke about the various efforts being taken to prevent Thalassemia. He talked about the importance of prevention and how Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) is working towards it. He mentioned the implementation of the legislation passed in Iran, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Cyprus, by which many families today are protected from genetic diseases including Thalessemia. Even though the legislation has been passed in KPK, Pakistan, it has yet to be implemented.

Dr. Ihsanul Haq talked about the various social aspects of Thalassemia and the problems faced by the patients as well as their families.

The President of Social Welfare Society, Fahad Ahmad, thanked the speakers, all present and lauded the efforts of Blood Wing, the organizers and all those involved in making this seminar a huge success. Further, he thanked Hamza Foundation, Fatimid Foundation, Frontier Foundation, and Thalassemia Prevention Project-KPK for their cooperation in the event.

At the end of the seminar prizes were given to winners of Quiz, Poster and Video Competitions.

Inter College Quiz Competition:

  1. First Prize: Talal Sikandri, Ayesha, and Farida (Biotechnology Department, University of Peshawar)
  2. Second Prize: Komal Victor, Komal Aman, and Faryal Saeed (Biotechnology Department, University of Peshawar)
  3. Third Prize: Romisa Rehman, Maryam Tahir and Bakhtawar Ihsan (Peshawar Medical College)

Poster Competition:

  1. First Prize: Qasim Ali Jan Arbab (Peshawar Medical College)
  2. Second Prize: Sarosh Seher and Saman Saeed (Biotechnology Department, University of Peshawar)
  3. Third Prize: Hina Khaliq, Sadia, and Umm-e-Salma Rashid, (Peshawar Medical College)

Short Film Competition:

  1. First Prize: “Flourishing Microbes (Biotechnology Department, University of Peshawar)
  2. Second Prize: Team Nostalgia (Biotechnology Department, University of Peshawar)

Dr. Ihsanul Haq awarded shields to the representatives of the visiting foundations, Hamza Foundation, Fatimid Foundation, Frontier Foundation, and Thalassemia Prevention Project.

The seminar was concluded by displaying the winning video of the short-film competition.

We are extremely thankful to our distinguished guest speakers, representatives of the Fatimid, Frontier and Hamza Foundations, Thalassemia Prevention Project Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, faculty staff of Peshawar Medical College and students from various medical and non-medical institutes for their participation in this seminar.

Author : Fahad Ahmad (President Social Welfare Society PMC Peshawar)
For more info and event pictures: