Intensifying its long-standing efforts to provide constructive training to both thalassaemia and other haemoglobinopathy patients and to the specialized physicians working in these fields, TIF has successfully hosted a two-day High level Thalassaemia & Sickle Cell Healthcare Professionals Summit on 1 & 2 November 2019, in Thessaloniki, Greece.
The Conference, jointly organised in collaboration with the Hellenic Thalassemia Association (ESTHA) and the Greek Thalassemia Federation (EOTHA), gathered some of the most distinguished scientific personalities in the field of haemoglobinopathies from the Greek, European and international medical community, as well as 45 haematologists and paediatricians from Cyprus, Greece, Italy, France, Germany, Sweden and Austria.
These are countries that have seen significant increases in patients with thalasseamia and sickle cell disease in the last decade, due to migratory flows from areas where thalassaemia is of frequent occurrence, such as Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, and Tunisia. Due to the rarity of these haematological diseases in Europe’s endogenous population and the consequent limited expertise of medical staff especially with regard to thalassaemia, their holistic management often encounters delays and might cause serious health issues to patients.
The main aim of this educational initiative was to further enhance the knowledge of European thalassaemia practitioners in order to be able to support the national services of their countries in shaping new policies or enhancing existing health and social services for patients already in place.
Conference participants had the opportunity to learn about the historical course of thalassaemia from past to present, to attend interesting presentations on thalassaemia prevention, diagnosis, and transfusion therapy, to manage clinically difficult cases, and to learn about the scientific advances that give rise to justified hopes for the definitive cure of the disease in the near future.
The exchange of views among European physicians on the challenges posed by thalassaemia in their countries and the fruitful discussion held with experts at the Conference on the multidimensional problems faced by patients living with the disease caused the vivid participation of all attendees. In addition, TIF reaffirmed the catalytic role that Cyprus has played since the 1970s in recognizing and adopting all those elements that contribute to the successful outcome of the programs for the control, prevention and clinical management of these diseases.
Among the renowned academics and scientists who participated in the Summit were the pioneers in hemoglobin research Prof. Dimitris Loukopoulos and Prof. Christos Kattamis, while the Federation was represented by its President, Mr. Panos Englezos, its Executive Director, Dr. Androulla Eleftheriou and its Medical Advisor, Dr. Michalis Angastiniotis, along with two of its Board of Directors’ Members.Read the Full Programme (EN) Keynote Presentation_”Thalassaemia in 2030: Learning from the Past, Living the Present, Envisioning the Future”