World Hemophilia Day observed in Kolkata
To mark the occasion of World Hemophilia Day on Thursday, Patient Awareness Camps were organized at Institute of Hematology and Transfusion Medicine Medical College, Kolkata and at the Hemophilia Society, Kolkata Chapter with sessions for the patients on Hemophilia and its management.
This World Hemophilia Day, the city's Hemophilia Society, thanked the government for the continuous support on making safe and high purity of factor treatment available to the patients with hemophilia.
It urged the government to set up more hemophilia treatment centers with proper infrastructure for better access to factors. Continuous availability of hemophilia factors to patients by the government can be one step to ensure these patients get the best care.
The events kicked off with discussion around the disease burden of Hemophilia in India at large and Kolkata in particular. Around 150 hemophiliac patients participated in the two awareness camp
This awareness camps made a fervent appeal to the government to take notice of the hemophilia patients who are in dire need and require support.
The state government and other neighbouring states have been making consistent efforts to make the availability of replacement therapy of factors (VIII or IX) to patients, yet the need for more funds and aid, education and training continues to exist.
In West Bengal, there are about 1400 registered patients suffering with hemophilia. These patients spread across 19 districts and Kolkata being one of them records around 600 patients. The major challenge is treating poor as most of the patients are from poorest of poor background.
Haemophilia is a genetic disorder where the patient's body lacks factors responsible for clotting of the blood. For treatment, the blood clotting factors are administered to the patients.
Lack of awareness about this genetic disorder leads to several complications among patients, not just in rural areas but in cities as well. Currently factors are available free for hemophilia patients at Kolkata Medical College , NRS Medical College- Kolkata, Midnapore Medical College and North Bengal Medical College in Siliguri.
Said Dr.Prantar Chakraborty, Professor IHTM, Kolkata, "Hemophilia is the oldest known uncommon genetic bleeding disorder that disrupts the blood clotting process. It is caused by the absence of a certain blood clotting factor in the blood. Prolonged bleeding may occur after sustaining injury or can happen spontaneously. We are thankful to the government for making the availability of high quality factor VIII and IX concentrates as the safest treatment option for patients with hemophilia."
"We are hopeful that the government will continue to support with the availability of free treatment to patients with hemophilia at all the government hospitals. Improving Infrastructure and establishing hemophilia treatment centre's can be one step to ensure these patients get the best care. The next step would be a creating more awareness about the disease and providing comprehensive psycho-social care mechanism for the PWH in the state. There is need to improve infrastructure and emphasis on development of Hemophilia Treatment Centres s for comprehensive hemophilia care," he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Ravishankar Ojha Head of Hemophilia Society, Kolkata Chapter, said, "Improving Infrastructure and establishing hemophilia treatment centre's can be one step to ensure these patients get the best care. Not only we want to raise the awareness about the Hemophilia disease among physicians and the public, but also to provide patients who suffer from Hemophilia a total care. We are thankful to the government for making the availability of factor VIII and IX concentrates as the safest treatment option for patients with hemophilia."
(Posted on 18-04-2014)