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INTRODUCTION

Thalassaemia remains the most common single gene disorder in Malaysia. 5% of its population are carriers of thalassaemia traits and the number of treatment dependents or thalassaemia major was 942 in 1996. These patients require monthly blood transfusions in order to live. However frequent transfusions build up excessive iron load in their bodies. Too much iron can damage the normal function of the vital organs and if left untreated, will lead to death. Due to the high cost of desferrioximine (desferal), the sole medication for treating iron overload, only 25% of thalassaemia major patients receive desferal treatment. Associations and support groups are unable to provide desferal treament needed by the remaining number of patients due to financial constraints.

AIM

Treatment for thalassaemia is life long, painful and costly.This compilation aims to look at the magnitude of the thalassaemia problem in Malaysia and to answer questions frequently asked in relation to thalassaemia. Hopefully it will encourage the readers to have a blood test to see if they carry the thalassaemia traits themselves and thus help to stamp out thalassaemia in the future. This website is maintained by a concerned parent with a beta-thalassaemia major child with the purpose of disseminating information on this blood disorder. She is presently a member of the Thalassaemia Action Group University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur comprising of parents of thalassaemics and dedicated doctors.She can be contacted by e-mail at brewer@tm.net.my.
Update
The association at University Hospital has just been approved by the Registrar of Societies and the name is now changed to Thalassaemia Society of University Hospital (THASUH).
Further information on this disorder can be obtained from the various Thalassaemia Associations listed herein. Readers are advised to consult their personal physicians before commencing on any form of treatment or management.
Please read our DISCLAIMER now.

For those interested in serious reading on thalassaemia, an article is included (Paper) on beta-thalassaemia in Malaysia by Professor Elizabeth George, Professor, Unit Hematology, Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM, Serdang, Selangor.
Tel: (0ffice) 89466000 Ext 8498
Queries on this article can be directed to her at mailto:eliz@tm.net.my or mailto:elzageorge@hotmail.com

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