8 May 2014:"People living with Thalassemia should be accorded equal rights and equal treatment" says Her Excellency Ms Dunya Maumoon, Minister of Foreign Affairs. On the occasion of World Thalassemia Day, Minister Dunya urged all stakeholders to ensure that the rights accorded to people living with Thalassemia are provided fully.

Reflecting on the theme for the year "Economic Recession: Observe-Join-Safeguard Health", Minister Dunya urged that the responsibilities towards all people living with Thalassemia, especially children, should not be sacrificed in light of austerity, or financial cut-backs. These rights include those guaranteed by the Constitution of the Maldives, and especially in the Thalassemia Act ratified on 10 May 2012. She also urged civil society and the private sector to contribute to the efforts to realise the needs of these valuable members of the society.

In her message, Minister Dunya stated that "the President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's Government is committed to work closely and firmly with the people of the Maldives, both at domestic and international stage to address the problems faced by thalassemia patients."

There are currently 588 patients registered and receiving treatment for Thalassemia in the Maldives. World Thalassemia Day is celebrated on 8 May, on the initiative of the World Health Organisation, in order to raise public awareness about the disease, prevention measures and measures to avoid its transmission.