Forgotten victims of Thalassemia

Fahad Asghar
3 min readAug 14, 2020

Due to Covid-19, there is a huge problem of collecting blood for thalassemia patients. Most of the NGOs and blood donation societies relied on the donations from students of educational institutes. As the educational institutions are in lock down with no definite end of the virus in sight, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain a proper supply of blood for the thalassemia patients.

While talking back in March, JSF’s (Jamila Sultana Foundation’s) project director Syed Tauqir Abbas told a newspaper, “Pakistan has over 100,000 Thalassemia patients, each requiring 3 to 4 pints of fresh blood per month. Students are our primary donors but due to closure of educational institutions, we are no longer able to hold blood donation camps, resulting in severe shortages. Imagine how acute the crisis will get in case of a countrywide lock down, there is no way we can ensure uninterrupted supply of blood. We need your support more than ever.” he said, warning of a deteriorating situation with every passing moment. Taxila is a city adjacent to Islamabad and it is a 10 minutes’ drive from my home. It doesn’t have any blood donation site. The people here aren’t aware of the problem faced by those in need of their blood especially children suffering from thalassemia. I talked with individual who are representative of organizations such as Rashid Cheema Health and Blood donation society and JSF.

Volunteers Power Pakistan (VPP) officials
Mr. Waqar Majeed (President of Rashid Cheema Health & Blood Donation Society)

So, after visiting and contact different individuals and organizations working in this field, I have come to realize that a blood donation site must be created in Taxila in order to overcome this shortages of blood for thalassemia patients as well as for those who need it in case of emergency. The meeting with these individuals and organizations have also enlightened me and gave me insights of how to conduct a social media campaign, how to gather funds and donors, invite volunteers in this drive and establish a well reputed institution to play my due role in this humanitarian cause.

A blood donor donating blood at JSF
Blood donation camp organized by Rashid Cheema Health & Blood donation society in Rahim Yar Khan