In the context of its educational programme, Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF) offers each year the Renzo Galanello Fellowship Programme to physicians, specialists in the field of haematology, paediatrics or internal medicine.
This fellowship was launched in 2013 in honour of the late Professor Renzo Galanello, a pioneer in the field of thalassaemia research and management, and was initially developed in collaboration with the Whittington Hospital NHS Trust in London, UK.
Currently this fellowship is offered through the Join Red Cell Unit, Haematology Department at the University College London, NHS Foundation Trust in London, UK, under the leadership of Dr Perla Eleftheriou, Consultant Haematologist.
TIF is aware that in many countries there is a lack of trained medical staff and as result, healthcare of haemoglobinopathy patients is less than optimum in many countries rudimentary. This need is partially due to a general poorer interest in haematology circles for non-malignant haematological disorders but also because these disorders are regarded as rare and as such are not given priority or integrated into national strategies or programmes. Policies for rare and chronic disorders are suboptimal or inadequate in many countries and health policy interest is diverted to other health ‘priorities’. Improving knowledge of holistic care in thalassaemia and sickle cell disease has been a TIF priority since its establishment and this need has no geographical boundaries.
Improving policies for the prevention and management of these disorders, constitutes a vast and invaluable contribution towards the health and quality of lives of our patients and towards national, regional and international public health and social burden, since these diseases are polyorganic in nature, have lifelong dependency on blood and are genetic in aetiology, and bear considerable medical, public health and social repercussions in addition to economic ones.