The Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen on Thursday inaugurated a nationwide system to facilitate convenient treatment to patients suffering from Thalassemia.
During the inauguration ceremony held at the Champa Central Hotel, it was revealed that, the new system will enable Thalassemia patients to access medicine and treatment equipment through the State Trading Organisation (STO).
Under the newly established system, every medical centre in Maldives will be required to submit monthly reports to the Health Ministry, outlining any steps deemed necessary in establishing a sustainable treatment system for Thalassemia patients.
The Minister asserted that the system resolved several difficulties faced by the 270 registered Thalassemia patients in Maldives.
According to Minister Ameen, the government’s policy regarding Thalassemia is to provide the utmost care to patients and prioritize their treatment.
The government also intends to host several Thalassemia related activities in the upcoming five years. This includes national screening and providing genetic counselling.
The Minister also spoke on the need to reduce new cases of the hereditary blood disorder.
He highlighted that since 40 percent of the population are carriers of the disease, Maldivians should exercise caution before starting a family.
While the government currently spends MVR 144,000 annually on treatments for an adult Thalassemia patient, the Minister stated that expenditure on the illness would soar if new cases could not be reduced.
Associate Specialist in Paediatrics Dr. Ahmed Ali from the Maldivian Blood Services also expressed the importance of providing access to blood transfusions when they are needed, emphasizing on the need to create a culture of donating blood and increase awareness on the subject.
Dr. Ahmed revealed that the state's policy was to ensure quality services during every stage of blood transfusions necessary to treat Thalassemia.
Ensuring that medical services for thalassaemia patients are available in all parts of the country is a pre-electoral pledge made by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Excluding public holidays, the administration had until the end of this month to fulfil the vow.