Friday, January 28, 2022

On World Hemophilia Day, Health Minister Sidhu calls to join hands to come over these unprecedented times

In a bid to ensure the best care to Hemophilia patients of the state, the Punjab Government has established 20 Integrated Centers for Haemoglobinopathies and Hemophilia (ICHH) over the last four years, besides making necessary treatment available free of cost to all the registered Hemophilia patients in all the districts. This was disclosed by Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu on “World Hemophilia Day”.

This year the theme is “Adapting to change: Sustaining care in a new world”, said the Minister while adding that Living during a pandemic can pose many challenges, not only for health, but also for mental health and wellbeing so all should join the hands to come over this unprecedented time.

          Mr. Sidhu said that the 20 Integrated Centers for Haemoglobinopathies and Hemophilia (ICHH) have been set up at all three Government Medical Colleges (GMC Amritsar, GGSMC Faridkot and GMC Patiala), district hospitals of Bathinda, Fazilka, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ferozepur, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Mansa, Moga, Mohali, Pathankot, Roopnagar, Sangrur, Tarn Taran and AIIMS Bathinda. Hence now most of Hemophilia patients can avail the necessary treatment in their respective districts. Currently, State Blood Cell, Punjab, is providing required services around 500 Hemophilia patients registered in the state of Punjab.

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He further said that the treatment to Hemophilic persons is being provided under the pool of dedicated doctors i.e., Pediatricians, Medical Specialists and other well trained staff. In these ICHHs, the Government of Punjab has started providing anti-Hemophilia treatment i.e. Factor VIII, Factor IX, Factor VII a, FEIBA/APCC and Emicizumab free of cost to all the registered Hemophilia patients. These factors are available 24 x 7 in these ICHHs.

Online registration is being done at each district hospital for efficient management of resources, the Minister said, adding that the state government bears the expenditure of approx. 10 crore annually. The state government also prepared and disseminated various informative materials including videos to spread awareness among the residents of Punjab. Special Trainings are being imparted to the concerned Health officials i.e. Paediatricians, Medical Specialists, Staff nurses of ICHHs in order to build the capacity in the field of Hemophilia care in collaboration with PGIMER, Chandigarh.

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Notably, Hemophilia is a bleeding disorder in which a person lacks or has low levels of clotting factors and its blood does not clot properly which further leads to excessive bleeding. The World Hemophilia Day has been observed since 1989, by the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH).  17th April is chosen as the day to commemorate the birthday of Frank Schnabel. Frank was a businessman with severe Hemophilia who envisioned this international organization to improve the treatment and care of Hemophilia around the world.

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