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Desolation of thalassemia among the masses.

Byline: Masooma Khan

Thalassemia is one of those diseases which are havoc for patient life, either physically or socially. These fellows are handicapped but also a great liability on the society as a whole and on their respective families especially. In Pakistan about 50,000 to 100,000 patients are suffering from Thalassemia and every year 5,000 babies are born with the deadly disease, 5 out of 100 people are Thalassemia patients and around 8 million population is Thalassemia carrier.

The increasing ratio of thalassemia among the Pakistani nation is horrible. The carrier rate of Betathalassemia in Pakistan is 5.4%. One out of every twenty individuals carries a gene for Betathalassemia, making it one of the commonest inheritable disorders in Pakistan. While in the province Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa the ratio of thalassemia patients is 65% of the whole country.

It is now a known fact that this genetically disease is prompt by frequent consanguineous marriages. In Pakistan consanguineous marriages are higher in Northern areas of the country, so to some extent war footedly it prevails in northern areas than rest of the country. In Pakistan, about 60% of the marriages are reported to be consanguineous among them 80% are between first cousins.

My dissertation attempts to tours out the social practices and notion which put oil to the fire of vulnerable disease of thalassemia and steer to intercousin marriages. By using the triangulation method the first objective of my research work, which manoeuvres the practice of intercousin marriages, a paramount ground for thalassemia was explored out through the study of four different cases in the context of Pukhtoon society.

The very first observation is that for intercepting the property division mate selection is preferred inside the family in Pukhtoon society. The second studied case of thalassemia patient's family exhibit that dowry practice is also a fatten muddle presently at time. The practice of dowry at the marriage time is one of the major social problem of Pakistan. Due to worst economic strains in the country and disparity in economic system inter class marriages exist in the society. Now in this frame the most reprehensible thing is failure in implementation of Dowry act.

To escape from dowry usually mate selection is prefer inside the family. The third case studied about inters cousin marriages come under the domain of strengthening of kin bonds in Pukhtoon society. The last case studied which bridges the way of intercousin marriages was the belief of a group which in turn associated with consanguineous marriages.

While in all the studied cases one most abhorrent side of the picture is the practice of child age marriages in Pukhtoon society. Such marriages are hitherto biologically and trivial for the rectitude health of mother and her fetus. Child age marriages are strongly allied with practice of intercousin marriages.

Education is power not only itself but actually; is way of appropriate life. Women education ratio is dreadful minor in Pukhtoon society. Mother education is strongly embodied with her fetus health standard. Medical facilities can be utilized in order to prevent the havoc of thalassemia, but due to unlettered with provided medical prerequisite illiterate mothers can't get fruit of these provided means. No medical plan exhibit by government can overcome the thalassemia could be fruitful till the female education ratio is not expanded.

It is also a crucial fact that most of the population of the country lives below the poverty line. In the second intent of my research it was detected that mostly thalassemia patient's families are poor and malnutrition is one of indirect cause which prevails thalassemia.

All above sociocultural practices of Pukhtoon society watered the thalassemia havoc, but the government deterioration to this mix up is oppressed condition while looking forward to future.Thalassemia eradication Programs should be developed and with the assistance of LHV's, pregnant women must be pursue to have their screening tests in order to stop the increasing birth rate of thalassemics.

To cease the havoc of thalassemia intercousin marriages and the marriage practices of thalassemia patients should be discourage on official as well as on religious platforms through the source of mass media to bring about a healthy Pakistan. At the same time on government level thalassemia patients should be provided health facilities in government hospitals besides the NGO's, as it is one of the basic duty of government to provide the health facilities to public.
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Publication:Frontier Post (Peshawar, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Dec 4, 2014
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