Northern Cyprus Medical Students Association (MSANC), in conjunction with the Near East University Dean of Students, the Cyprus Turkish Human and Clinical Genetics Association (KTGD), and the Northern Cyprus Thalassaemia Association (KKTD), will hold an event tomorrow at the Near East University to raise awareness about thalassemia and sickle cell anemia. The event is part of World Thalassemia Day and carries the slogan “Be Aware, Share, Take Care.” Brochures explaining the disease and the importance of blood donation will be distributed to university students in Turkish, English, and Arabic. On May 15, the Northern Cyprus Red Crescent blood donation car will also meet donors for a full day at the Near East University.
Sara Darvish, president of MSANC, spoke about how thalassemia is the most common and preventable hematological disease that is genetically transmitted in the country and around the world. The disease has a 25 percent risk for every child born when both parents are carriers. Regular blood transfusions are necessary to treat the disease.
KTGD President and Head of Near East University Hospital Medical Genetic Diagnosis Laboratory Assoc. Dr. Mahmut Çerkez Ergören emphasized that sickle cell anemia is common in African countries and that nearly 40 foreign patients in the country live with the disease. He also noted that the carrier rate of sickle cell anemia among Africans at the Near East University was 25 percent, and it was important to raise awareness about the disease.
Çiğdem Beşeverlerli, President of the Northern Cyprus Thalassaemia Association, revealed that the theme for this year’s International Thalassemia Federation (TIF) is “Be Aware, Share, Care.” Beşeverlerli highlighted the serious problems associated with thalassemia treatment in the country, including a lack of medication, long waiting periods for disabled employment, and the need for renovation of the Thalassemia Center building. She also noted that people coming from abroad and having children in the country without knowing their thalassemia or sickle cell carrier status contributes to an increase in the number of individuals with the diseases. She thanked Near East University, MSANC, and KTGD for their attention to awareness day and blood donation and congratulated the association members on World Thalassemia Day.