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.
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.