Blood sample of Sindh Governor Imran Ismail being drawn for Thalassemia screening. Image Credit: Sindh Governor House

Karachi: Both Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and his wife got themselves tested for Thalassemia in order to set an example for would-be couples to opt for the test before marriage to ensure that their children are not born with the life-threatening blood disorder.

The Governor and his wife set the precedent as the historical Sindh Governor House for the first very time hosted a camp to do Thalassemia blood screening tests. A non-profit Kashif Iqbal Thalassemia Care Centre organised the camp.

Speaking on the occasion, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail said that opting for the Thalassemia screening test was the only way to make sure that the coming generations remained protected from the sufferings caused by the fatal blood disorder.

He urged the young persons to opt for the test before their marriage as a necessary precaution to ensure health of their children in future.

He said that a law had been existing in Pakistan against the spread of Thalassemia but there was a need to implement it as Prime Minister Imran Khan had formed committees at the federal-level for the purpose. The National Assembly in 2017 passed “The Compulsory Blood Test of the Relatives of Thalassemia Patient Bill-2017” making it compulsory upon the blood relatives of a Thalassemia patient to opt for the screening.

The Governor said the government had been making efforts to make sure that more Thalassemia screening facilities were established in the country.

He appealed to media to run an awareness campaign to make youth aware of the precautions required for protecting coming generations.

He said the federal government had been providing health insurance coverage to the needy as the facility was available to 100 per cent population in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan and to 60 per cent people in Punjab.

He said the health insurance facility in Sindh was only limited to the underprivileged districts of Umerkot and Tharparkar as he urged the provincial government to become a partner with Islamabad in this drive so that deserving people in rest of the province also get this facility.

Speaking on the occasion, wife of Sindh Governor, Reema Ismail, also urged the young people to opt for this compulsory pre-marital screening so that their children remained healthy.