No test, no nikkah (Part 2)

Published: June 19, 2010

It is vital to get tested for Thalessemia in order to save the future generation.

After my post “No test, no nikkah”, I have got some appreciation and at the same time some objections as well.

Here is the reply to those objections:

Several people asked me how they can ask their partners to get tested. “It doesn’t look good,” they said. A friend of mine said “The in-laws might start beating me Ayesha!” and I simply replied, “Just for once think of your generation – that beating won’t be anything then.”

Then, there are people who ask me who am I or the government to stop them marrying their love if both are Thalassemia minor.

Who said you can’t marry them?

No test, no nikkah doesn’t mean that you can’t marry your love if both of you are Thalassemia minor, it just means that for a precaution get yourself tested. If both are found minor then in every pregnancy you will have to get a test called “Prenatal diagnosis or prenatal screening”

What is prenatal test is for?

Just to make sure that your child does not have Thalassemia major (disease state), and God forbid, if the baby does have the disease then you can abort the baby within 120 days of the pregnancy.

Is it too difficult getting tested?

Then, for once imagine this: will you be able to bear your child pointing his/her finger at you and saying “Mom/Dad, you are responsible for my illness”? Will you be able to bear seeing your child getting pricked by needles, and all the other painful procedures that come with being a Thalasemmia patient? No…you won’t be…

It’s so difficult to get your partner tested?

Okay, don’t ask them for it, go and get YOURSELF tested, and if God forbid you get some irregular result then you can ask your partner to get tested. If the result is normal then it doesn’t matter whether or not your partner carries Thalassemia Minor gene, because it won’t do any harm. In that case just a kid or two will carry a minor gene, that’s it.

Is it still difficult?

You might think I must have pointed fingers at my parents too. Or maybe I feel bad for having Thalassemia and that is why I am writing such posts? Let me assure you that is not the case. I have seen two-year-old children at the transfusion center – even kids younger than 2.

I have seen how they get pricked, how they cry, how the nurses get their veins. If you see it yourself, you will cry… I bet you will.

And since I have been seeing this for so long, I really want to save our next generation. Wont you step ahead and help me? I don’t want another child to get pricked with needles because of lack of awareness, please?

Just one blood test can save your generation, what else do you want now? If you still can’t get it … then it’s simply useless to tell you anything…

And sorry people, but your objections are overruled and now you are left with no choice but to get yourself tested.

FAiTh’s dream : Thalassemia free Pakistan!


Ayesha Mehmood

Ayesha is official spokesperson of FAiTh (Fight Against Thalassemia), actively blogs at Ayesha's blog and tweets @blessedAyesha

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • faryal

    excellent! keep up the good work and i am with you!Recommend

  • SadafFayyaz

    good Ayesha;;;Recommend

  • Yasser

    commendable effort from ayesha for making this post, Thalessemia cases are increasing day by day in Pakistan and it should be our national responsibility to fight with it, Govt should imposed it on first place, because you know urban elite might be reading this but what about rural elite, they won’t even understand it till govt enforced it at the marriage level.
    i agree No Test No Nikkah…Recommend

  • bilal umar

    I became aware of this deadly disease around 6 months ago when i attended the inauguration of a blood bank and test lab for thalassemics.

    After that event, i had a chance to visit a few civil hospitals and i was shocked to hear that despite having fully functioning blood banks, these hospitals were not providing any blood testing services. The resident doctors also informed me that they are frequented by thalassemia patients to whom they provide blood transfusions, but at the same time they dint offer any services to tackle the iron buildup in the body due to these transfusions, which in itself is deadly.

    I feel it is necessary that people are made aware of thalassemia and that media has a big role to play in this effort. Furthermore, we need to have facilities for its prevention in our civil hospitals. The investment will far outweigh the cost incurred in tackling this problem.Recommend

  • faizan

    thnxs 4 ths awareness ayesha (:
    u cleared my points thnxs.Recommend

  • Ayesha

    Bilal: every year 5000 kids are born with thalassemia major AND still there isn’t any complete operating thalassemia center by Government, what else we can say?

    They have failed to give treatment to the existing thalassemia patients and yet we ask them to do something about prevention?

    We shouldn’t sit back and wait for them to do something, we should do something of our own too..!Recommend

  • bilal umar

    Ayesha: i totally agree with you.

    And i feel that awareness is one of the most important things, which can be done to prevent thalassemia. Hence, the media has a very important role to play in this.Recommend

  • Habiba