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March 30, 2020

People urged to donate blood as thalassaemia patients face shortage

Karachi

March 30, 2020

karachi: Expressing concern over the shortage of blood resulting from the lockdown in Sindh due to the COVID-19 scare, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPA Haleem Adil Shaikh on Saturday appealed to the people, especially the youth, to donate blood to save the lives of thousands of children afflicted with thalassaemia.

Shaikh, who is the PTI’s parliamentary party leader in the provincial assembly, visited the National Institute of Blood Diseases and donated a bottle of blood to the hospital.

Appealing to Karachi’s residents to donate blood to the organisations working for the treatment of thalassaemia patients, he said hospitals and blood banks have been facing an acute shortage of blood after people have been remaining indoors on the government’s orders as part of a preventive measure against the spread of coronavirus.

“Even the people staying at home can donate their blood,” said Shaikh. He said that there are thousands of children afflicted with thalassaemia who need a regular blood transfusion, but due to the shortage, their lives are at risk now.

On March 21, welfare organisations working for the treatment of thalassaemia patients in Karachi, including the Omair-Sana Thalassaemia Foundation, had warned that due to a lockdown and the COVID-19 scare, blood banks and hospitals had been facing an extreme shortage of blood.

They had expressed concern that the prevalent conditions were putting the lives of thousands of children afflicted with thalassaemia at risk. They had urged the people, especially the youth, to donate blood.

“Every month, some 150,000 bags to 200,000 bags of blood are required in Pakistan, which are mostly used for thalassaemia patients and victims of emergencies, and during surgeries and other emergencies, but due to the scare of coronavirus, people are abstaining from donating blood, which has become a serious issue,” Dr Rahat Hussain, a blood diseases expert, had said.

Separately, Organisation Restoration Committee head Dr Farooq Sattar in a statement also requested the people to donate blood to save the lives of thalassaemia patients.

He said that a great shortage of blood has emerged because of the lockdown across the province, and it has put the lives of thousands of thalassaemia patients, particularly children, at risk. “People should visit nearby thalassaemia centres and donate blood.”

Meanwhile, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) convenor Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui also appealed to the people, particularly the youth, to donate blood to save the lives of thousands of thalassaemia patients who are at risk of dying due to the non-availability of blood due to the lockdown.

He said the Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation, the party’s charity wing, will set up camps to collect blood for donating them to the organisations working with thalassaemia patients, particularly children.

He added that the MQM-P’s leaders and workers will also donate blood because these organisations rely on blood donations to meet the transfusion needs of thousands of thalassaemia patients.