ISLAMABAD: Children diagnosed with thalassaemia acted as honorary MNAs and held a mock National Assembly session in Islamabad on Thursday.
The children battling with the blood disorder were invited by the Speaker of National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq and were allowed to hold a mock session of the House.
Two of them were also appointed to act as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Assembly to supervise the mock proceedings.
The arrangements were done as a part of special ceremony for the children suffering with thalassaemia and children battling being treated at Sundus Foundation held in the Parliament House.
Renowned literary figure, columnist and chaperone of Sundus Foundation, Munno Bhai was also present at the occasion.
While addressing the audience at the event, Speaker Ayaz Sadiq lauded the children suffering with Thalassemia for displaying immense courage and resilience in the face of this disease.
The speaker paid tribute to Sundus Foundation and said that it has rendered great service to this nation by taking on the humanitarian cause of supporting the poor sufferers of thalassaemia, mainly children through voluntary healthy blood transfusion services.
The speaker said that Munno Bhai, in his capacity as chaperone of the organisation has led this noble cause of reaching every corner of the country to collect donations from philanthropists for the unfortunate sufferers.
He stressed on the need of creating public awareness regarding importance of taking safety measures and precautions in order to minimize chances of thalassaemia disorder.
Later, Ayaz Sadiq joined the children and had a brief informal chat with them.
Answering the question of a child regarding separate schools for children suffering with thalassaemia, he said that such children were no different to those who were healthy and sound, and in fact, were more courageous and brave.
Thalassaemia is an inherited blood disorder that causes the body to produce less haemoglobin, and diseases are consequently caused due to weakening and destruction of red blood cells.
It is the most common inherited blood disorder in the world.
In Pakistan, about 8,000 children are born with thalassaemia major each year. Children with thalassaemia major require ongoing treatment and blood transfusions throughout their lives. This makes not only the life of the patient miserable but also causes perpetual concern for their parents.