Schools Launch Thalassaemia Campaign For Students

By CodeBlue | 27 January 2021

Repsol Malaysia has collaborated with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education to launch a thalassaemia awareness campaign.

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PUTRAJAYA, Jan 27 — Repsol Malaysia today announced its collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education to launch its thalassaemia awareness campaign, ‘NowyouSEEme’.

This campaign aims to educate secondary school students on the medical condition to be better informed and to play an active role in society to manage and eventually eradicate the disease.

The ‘NowyouSEEme’ initiative taps into students’ creativity in storytelling to create content on social media platforms and engage in their respective school contests.The ‘NowyouSEEme’ initiative gives students the opportunity to display their creativity in communicating their understanding and information about Thalassaemia on social media and through competitions organized in their respective schools. 50 schools from Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang have been selected in the roll-outfirst phase of this campaign before it is continued in the other states.

“Since 2013, Repsol Malaysia has been committed to support thalassaemia communities locally and the efforts to create awareness about this disorder. The goal we are working towards is to get the community involved in the fight against the disease in order to reduce the thalassaemia birth rates in Malaysia by as much as 95 per cent by 2038 make Malaysia a zero-thalassaemia nation by 2030. With the support of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education on this campaign, we are able to achieve this by engaging an important group of people – the students – more effectively and impactfully,” said Repsol Malaysia Director Pablo Ortolá Martínez.

Repsol Malaysia started its own efforts eight years ago in Sabah by working with local NGOs that are directly involved in supporting thalassaemia communities. They then expanded the effort to the rural areas of Terengganu working with a Hulu Terengganu hospital to set up the first thalassaemia Day Care centre by a private entity. This was done with the objective of helping local communities who face the challenge of getting access to treatment.

Speaking at the virtual launch event, Minister of Health Dr Adham Baba said, “Thalassaemia is a medical condition that is more common among Malaysians than we think. As of 2018, Tthere are officially 8,681 registered patients in Malaysia, and that number has been growing since with the birth rates in Malaysia. Education on the disease is crucial and that is why we are supportive of Repsol Malaysia’s efforts in contributing towards the thalassaemia campaign as a whole.”

Also in attendance virtually was the Deputy Minister of Education Muslimin Yahaya, who said, “Education beyond classroom learning is important for students, especially with a topic such as thalassaemia. Repsol Malaysia’s approach of tapping into the students’ creativity and leveraging the online platform is a reflection of how we will navigate this new reality of learning.”

The ‘NowyouSEEme’ activities will officially run from 15 March to 18 August 2021 whereby students will be submitting their contest entries online and through the facilitators in their respective schools. There is over RM18,000 cash prizes along with trophies which will be awarded to the winners on 6 October 2021.

For more information on the programme, log on to nowyouSEEme.com.my.

Thalassaemia In Malaysia

Thalassaemia is an inherited condition that disrupts the production of red blood cells. In turn, the function of the cells are affected.a hereditary blood disorder that causes one’s body to have less haemoglobin (red blood cells that carry oxygen). This causes one to easily feel tired, weak, or have shortness of breath. Regular blood transfusions are the most common method of treatment which is a life-long procedure.

Based on the figures in the 2018 Thalassaemia Registry Report, Sabah showed the largest highest number of registered thalassaemia cases in Malaysia with a total of 1,814 patients that account for 22.72 per cent of the cases. This is followed by Selangor, Kedah and Johor with 1,169, 694 and 637 patients respectively. There are 110 government hospitals in Malaysia actively managing thalassaemia patients.

Out of 7,984 thalassaemia patients in Malaysia, the age group between 11-15 years old have the highest number of patients with 1,394 patients (17.46 per cent), followed by 16-20 years old and 6-10 years old with 1,286 (16.11 per cent) and 1,272 (15.93 per cent) patients, respectively. The data also indicate a smaller number of the patients above 50 years old (278 patients, 3.48 per cent).

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