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Success stories

The fight against thalassemia in Malaysia

Thalassemia awareness programs in Malaysia

Repsol Malaysia team campaigning in the street

Studies show that 4.5% of the world population are thalassemia carriers. It is a hereditary blood condition that has a high risk of affecting children of carrier parents. A child born with thalassaemia will require monthly blood transfusions for life, and such treatment has setbacks at times resulting in multiple organ failure. As of today, thalassaemia patients have an average life expectancy of 23 to 25 years.

The state of Sabah, Repsol Malaysia’s area of operations, has the highest number of thalassemia cases in the country at some 1,800 patients in 2018, which is growing due to new births every year.

However, thalassemia can be prevented through strategic awareness campaigns by engaging with the vulnerable communities to raise awareness and regularly share vital related information.

  • The state of Sabah, Repsol Malaysia’s area of operations, has the highest percentage of individuals affected by thalassemia in Malaysia. 1,800 cases were registered in 2018, and the number keeps growing every year due to new children born of carrier parents

Promoting prevention as a company

Repsol Malaysia team donating blood

We have continued to support the thalassemia awareness programs in Sabah since 2015 together with the Sabah Health Department and the Sabah Thalassaemia Society, an NGO comprising mostly parents of thalassaemic children.

Our business unit in the country also sponsors the annual celebration of World Thalassemia Day. This initiative is part of our contribution to the sustainable development and well-being goals that focus on helping the most disadvantaged groups within the regions where we operate.

  • In collaboration with the Malaysian Health Ministry and the Thalassaemia Society, we provided access to premarital and antenatal screenings to determine whether the parents are carriers and attack the disease at the root

Goals

Raise awareness about thalassemia in the community.
Encourage people to donate blood for thalassemia patients who are in constant need of blood transfusions.
Get the community involved in the fight against the disease in order to make Malaysia a zero-thalassemia nation by 2030.
Smiling children playing in the water

A better world for children with thalassemia

While prevention is the main focus of these awareness programs, there are also activities aimed at helping create a better world for thalassemic children as everyone deserves equal care and well-being.
These activities include blood donations to support the transfusions required by the children, testimonial talks by thalassemic role models, nutritional talk by dieticians, walk for thalassemia sessions, coloring for pre-schoolers, and artistic showmanship from thalassemic patients.
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