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Thalassaemia is found only once on the world's postage stamps, as part of the 1978 “anniversaries and events” issue from Cyprus. As is often the case, a stamp relating to a specific disease is most likely to appear from a country where the disease or condition is particularly prevalent. Examples come from Egypt (schistosomiasis) and Brazil (Chagas' disease). In this instance, with thalassaemia being a major health problem in people of Mediterranean descent, the stamp from Cyprus is very appropriate to highlight its importance. The stamp depicts the blood film appearances in thalassaemia and is aimed at prevention. The stamp is relatively rare being overprinted “specimen”.