Acute blood shortage caused by lockdown endangers lives of thousands of Thalassemia patients in Pakistan.Record ID: 1467697
- Title: Acute blood shortage caused by lockdown endangers lives of thousands of Thalassemia patients in Pakistan.
- Date: 5th April 2020
- Summary: KARACHI, PAKISTAN (APRIL 4, 2020) (REUTERS) CHILDREN SUFFERING FROM THALASSEMIA GETTING BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS LITTLE GIRL WEARING BUNNY HEAD BAND VARIOUS OF CHILDREN RECEIVING BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS VARIOUS OF DOCTOR FIXING IVY TUBE ON SMALL BOY MOTHER WALKING WITH BOY HOLDING IV BAG BOY BEING FITTED WITH IVY TUBE DOCTOR FIXING BLOOD BAG IVY TUBE DOCTOR TREATING BOY (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) DIRECTOR MOHAMMADI THALASSEMIA CENTRE, DR. MAHISA SHARJEEL, SAYING: "The biggest problem that we are facing because of the lockdown is that there is a severe shortage of blood donations. It is vital that thalassemia patients have the appropriate amount of blood supply present in their bodies. Since blood donations are not coming, we are running short of blood for thalassemia patients, which is not good for them. " DOCTOR LOOKING AT SMALL BOY WITH IVY TUBE DOCTOR'S HAND HOLDING BOY'S HAND VARIOUS OF DOCTOR FIXING IV TUBES ON BOYS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER MOHAMMADI FOUNDATION, MEHDI RIZVI, SITTING IN HIS OFFICE. (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER MOHAMMADI FOUNDATION, MEHDI RIZVI, SAYING: "The number of deaths that we have had from Coronavirus so far, multiply that by ten times. That is the number of children who would have died for lack of blood transfusions. Then, 70% of the children come for blood transfusions from outside Karachi, from Balochistan, from interior Sindh, from as far as Kashmore, because Karachi has better facilities, and better consultants. This is all very important. In my reckoning, at a minimum, very minimum, if I make a rough estimate, at least 200 to 250 children would have died." PARENTS WAITING FOR THEIR CHILDREN'S TURN TO RECEIVE BLOOD VARIOUS OF BAGS OF BLOOD STACKED IN BLOOD BANK TECHNICIAN SORTING OUT BLOOD IN BLOOD BANK (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) UNIDENTIFIED PARENT OF THALASSEMIA PATIENT, SAYING: "The situation was very grave. Blood was not available anywhere; there was a severe shortage of blood. We are very grateful to the Mohammadi Blood bank for arranging blood for us, and saving our child's life." KARACHI, PAKISTAN (APRIL 3, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WAITING TO DONATE BLOOD WOULD-BE DONORS BEING SCREENED FOR TEMPERATURE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE DONATING BLOOD
- Keywords: Pakistan blood bank blood transfusion coronavirus lockdown shortage of blood thalassemia
- Reuters ID: LVA001C87QGCN
- Location: KARACHI, PAKISTAN
- City: KARACHI, PAKISTAN
- Country: Pakistan
- Duration: 00:03:51
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: Thousands of Thalassemia patients are at risk of dying due to non-availability of blood supplies in the wake of restrictions imposed across Pakistan to restrict the spread of coronavirus, doctors say.
According to the Jamila Sultana Foundation (JSF), Pakistan has over 100,000 Thalassemia patients, each requiring 3 to 4 pints of fresh blood per month.
Students are the primary donors for most blood banks across the country, but due to closure of educational institutions, it is no longer possible to hold blood donation camps, resulting in severe shortages.
Blood banks and organizations dealing with thalassemia and leukemia patients are concerned that if the countrywide lockdown lasts longer, ensuring uninterrupted supply of blood for the patients will become impossible.
Organisations dealing with these diseases launched a frantic call for blood donations on Friday (April 3), which received an overwhelming response from the public.
Doctors at blood banks said the donations had saved hundreds of lives.
"The number of deaths that we have had from Coronavirus so far, multiply that by ten times. That is the number of children who would have died for lack of blood transfusions. Then, 70% of the children come for blood transfusions from outside Karachi, from Balochistan, from interior Sindh, from as far as Kashmore, because Karachi has better facilities, and better consultants. This is all very important. In my reckoning, at a minimum, very minimum, if I make a rough estimate, at least 200 to 250 children would have died," said Mehdi Rizvi, Chief Executive Officer of Mohammadi Foundation that has blood banks across the country.
He said they now have enough blood to last them for at least a month.
Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder in which the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The disorder results in excessive destruction of red blood cells, which leads to anemia.
Stem cell transplant is the only treatment that can cure thalassemia. But only a small number of people who have severe thalassemia are able to find a good donor match and have the risky procedure done.
(Production: Waseem Sattar, Salahuddin, Sheree Sardar)
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