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Last Updated: Aug 19th, 2006 - 22:18:38

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Cyprus first lady meets thalassemia patients in Delhi
Apr 14, 2006, 23:05, Reviewed by: Dr. Priya Saxena

The meeting was organised by Thalassemia India, an NGO.

First Lady of Cyprus Fotini Papadopoulou Wednesday interacted with over 100 thalassaemic children in a private hospital here and donated speciality equipment used by patients of the ailment.

"India like Cyprus is a country highly affected by the disease, which, if not addressed properly, can amount to a major public health problem," Papadopoulou said during her visit to the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

She gifted 10 infusion pumps used to administer medicine on thalassemia patients and received a painting of the Taj Mahal made by a 12-year-old child afflicted with the ailment.

The meeting was organised by Thalassemia India, an NGO.

Citing an estimate of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the hospital's vice chairman P.K. Khanna said around 300 million people globally, nearly 30 million of them in India, are carriers of the defective thalassemia genes.

Around 8,000 children are born with the disease in India every year with a high degree of prevalence among Punjabis, Sindhis, Gujaratis and Bengalis, he added.

Thalassemia India secretary Shobha Tuli requested Papadopoulou to organise a doctors' exchange programme between the two countries so that Indian physicians can learn from the experience of Cyprus in dealing with the ailment.

- Indo-Asian News Service

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