Lack of blood units haunts thalassemia patients in Halabja

Mohammed Salam suffers from a blood disorder known as thalassemia and needs weekly blood transfusions to keep it under control. However, only one such center exists in the Kurdistan Region’s Halabja and it faces shortages of blood supplies. 

Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder which requires transfusions to provide the body with more red blood cells to carry oxygen.

"In the past, we always used to go to Sulaimani for blood transfusion at the Sulaimani Thalassemia Center, because there were no thalassemia centers here in Halabja. Whenever an unfavorable situation would happen, we would have to go to Sulaimani once again. The thalassemia-affected patients will face health difficulties and lose energy without blood transfusion for one week, in which they cannot even walk," Salam Kakabra, Mohammed's father told Rudaw's Sazgar Salah over the weekend.

Mohammed desperately calls on locals to donate blood at the Halabja thalassemia center.

"I am calling on those who donate blood to visit this canter's blood bank," Mohammed said, adding "Sometimes they run out of blood and this creates health issues for us if we do not have blood transfusions on time."

The head of the thalassemia center points out that they have never seen their blood bank as empty as it has been recently.

"We have never been without blood at our bank ever since 2019," Zeyad Ghafar said, adding they have launched a campaign for blood donations to their center.

"We have launched a campaign in order to receive the required amount of blood in our center," Ghafar said, noting "We need 60 to 70 blood units for a month."

Satar Fayaq, another blood donor and local of Halabja echoed the sentiment that what they do is a responsibility.

"I saw the announcement and decided to come to donate blood. I am a veteran wounded Peshmerga soldier. I came to help alleviate some of the burdens on them [the families of the thalassemia patients]," Fayaq added.

The Halabja blood bank was established in 2017 and they need 300 blood units every month for patients of all kinds.

source\ Rudaw


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