Materia Medica Malaysiana

May 4, 2007

Portal on Thalassaemia launched

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:20 am

NST: Following the alarming rate of Malaysians born with thalassaemia, an inherited genetic blood disorder, the Health Ministry today launched a dedicated portal to create awareness on the illness.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said the portal, http://www.mythalassaemia.net.my provided information on the illness and treatment availabe to the patients.
“According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), five per cent of the world’s population are carriers of the genes, or red blood cells or haemoglobin disorder.
“Every year about 300,000 babies are born with thalassaemia worldwide, of whom between 60,000 and 70,000 suffer thalassaemia major and this is worrying us,” he said when opening the national level International Thalassaemia Day here today.
Chua said a study by the ministry a few years ago showed that thalassaemia was a major illness among Malaysians following the screening of form four students in Penang, Melaka and Sabah.
“From the latest figures, 3,115 people in the whole country suffer thalassaemia major, of whom about 1,200 or almost 40 percent are from Sabah,” he said.
He said as thalassaemia was an inherited disrorder of the haemoglobin, it could be controlled or prevented via four initiatives for which the federal government had allocated RM40.8 million this year.
He said the programme included providing free medicines and infusion pumps to patients especially children, and supplying equipment to 21 hospital laboratories and 15 clinics to conduct thalassaemia blood screening.
“Family members of thalassaemia patients aged 16 and above are advised to undergo blood screening to find out their risk status so that remedial action can be taken,” he said.

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