IN an effort to raise public awareness about thalassaemia and raise funds to support thalassaemics in Penang, a charity event known as ‘Let’s Walk For Thalassaemia 2023’ will be held on Oct 1.
The charity event is jointly organised by the Penang Thalassaemia Society and Penang Island City Council (MBPP).
The 4km event will be take place at Penang Youth Park at 7am.
Penang Thalassaemia Society president Doraisingam Rethinam said the main objective of the event is to increase awareness regarding thalassaemia.
“In Malaysia, the carrier rate for this genetic disorder is approximately five per cent, meaning one in 20 individuals is a carrier.
“The Penang Thalassaemia Society has been one of the earliest organisations in Malaysia to offer oral chelation therapy and white blood cell filters for thalassaemics.
“Through this charity event, we want to focus on public awareness cum fundraising campaign by the society to continue its objectives in caring, treating and improving the welfare of children with thalassaemia in Penang.
“Part of the fund also will be used to organise medical camps and workshops for both medical staff and thalassaemics,” Doraisingam told a press conference at the City Stadium in Lorong Kulit today to announce about the upcoming charity event.
Also present was MBPP assistant administrative officer Mokagathi Ganesan.
According to Mokagathi, they expect 800 participants to join the charity event.
“As of now, 550 participants have already registered. Thus, I would like to urge the public to register for the walk.
“The registration deadline is set for Sept 20,” she said.
To register or for more detsils, interested individuals can contact Ms Lily Boey at 016-421 6839.
In addition to the 4km walk, the charity event will feature various programmes, including talks and exhibitions on thalassaemia, health checkups, a zumba session and a lucky draw.
Thalassaemia is an inherited blood disorder resulting from insufficient production of the protein haemoglobin, a critical component of red blood cells. Because of that, regular blood transfusion is needed to maintain haemoglobin levels in the blood.
To reduce excessive blood iron levels from the regular blood transfusion, thalassaemics need to be on daily medications which are given either orally or as injections. When left untreated or inadequately treated, thalassaemia can lead to complications.
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Adleena Rahayu Ahmad Radzi