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This welfare society serves J&K’s Thalassemia patients for 27 years
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This welfare society serves J&K’s Thalassemia patients for 27 years

Post by Arvind Sharma on Monday, May 22, 2023

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Jammu, May 19: The J&K Thalassemia Welfare Society has been providing free-of-cost medicines, transport facilities and also the much-needed blood to Thalassemia patients in Jammu for the last 27 years, with the sole motive of "serving humanity". 
There are 320 Thalassemia patients in the Jammu Province. Most of these patients are children. The J&K Thalassemia Welfare Society also invites renowned doctors of India to Jammu for treatment and counselling of these patients every month and bears all the expenses on its own. 
Importantly, this society has no funding from the government. “We bear all expenses on our own and have never even thought of approaching anybody for funding,” Er Sudhir Sethi (an Aeronautical Engineer), President of the J&K Thalassemia Welfare Society told Rising Kashmir. 
The society, in collaboration with SMGS Hospital, has also set up a daycare centre at Jammu’s premier maternity and paediatric hospital (SMGS) where the patients, the majority of children, are screened, provided free medicines and their parents are also counselled.  
With the efforts of this society, J&K was the first "State" in India to provide free medicines, blood and other necessary treatment to Thalassemia patients.  
J&K Thalassemia Welfare Society, through its efforts, has also ensured free-of-cost travelling for Thalassemia patients within J&K. Apart from this, the Thalassemia patients also get a 75% discount on their train tickets across India. 
Thalassemia is a hereditary disease (blood disorder) caused when the body doesn’t make enough of a protein called hemoglobin, an important part of red blood cells. When there isn’t enough hemoglobin, the body’s red blood cells don’t function properly and they last shorter periods of time, so there are fewer healthy red blood cells traveling in the bloodstream. 
Such patients need blood transfusion 3 to 4 times per month, Dr Sanjeev Dingra, a senior doctor at SMGS Hospital, said and added, “15 to 20 children require blood transfusion every day”. 
Dr Dingra said, “We have now started screening of pregnant women in the first trimester (i.e 3 months) to verify if she is a Thalassemia carrier and if she is found as the carrier, we screen her husband also”. All this is free of cost. 
If both husband and wife are Thalassemia carriers, then there is a 25% chance of their child being a Thalassemia patient, Dr Dingra said. 
“We advise them to go for medical termination,” he said adding, “After this, it depends upon their wisdom”.
A Thalassemia patient requires blood transfusion throughout his life. 

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