The 7th National Thalassaemia Seminar: UMBI’s strong partnership with the Ministry of Health


UMBI successfully hosted the 7th National Thalassaemia Seminar on the 8th and 9th August 2015. The conference was attended by more than 200 doctors plus 200 patients and parents. We had 4 international speakers during the seminar. The NTS was preceded by a two-day Clinical Course of Management of Thalassaemia. This course is pioneered by UMBI and its collaborators, and now it is a course endorsed by the Ministry of Health for the training of young doctors and paramedics in the management of thalassaemia.

Thalassaemia is the commonest genetic disorder in Malaysia and also the world. An estimated 5% of our population carry the gene. There are now about 6400 registered cases in the National Thalassaemia Registry, many of who are transfusion dependent and are also on iron chelation therapy.
UMBI has formed a strong partnership with the Ministry of Health, the Malaysian Society of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, the Federation of Malaysian Thalassaemia Societies and also our own UKM MyThal Club based at the UKM Medical Centre.

Since 2004, The Ministry of Health has implemented a 4-prong strategy for thalassaemia. The objectives include to provide optimal care to existing patients and also to reduce the number of new births. For the latter, increased public awareness on the diseases is needed and voluntary screening to identify carriers must be enhanced.
Remember, thalassaemia is an inherited disease. If you are a carrier for thalassaemia and your prospective partner is also a carrier, your chances of getting a child with thalassaemia major is 25% for each pregnancy. Go for screening before you marry and get the right advice and counsel on your status as a carrier.


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