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Speakers stress need for multi-pronged approach to combat hemophilia

Staff Reporter

Indo-French CME programme on hemophilia at JIPMER held



BATTLING HEMOPHILIA TOGETHER: French Consul General Joelle Rayet and JIPMER Director Subba Rao at the CME on hemophilia at JIPMER recently. — Photo: T. Singaravelou

PUDUCHERRY: A.K. Das, Medical Superintendent, JIPMER, said that there was a need for a multi-pronged approach with partnership between the Government, private parties and the public to combat hemophilia.

Speaking at the Indo-French CME programme on hemophilia at JIPMER here on Saturday, Dr. Das said that there were 12,000 known cases of hemophiliacs in the country but that there may be more undiagnosed cases.

Nalini, President of the Hemophilia Society, Puducherry Chapter, said the society was still making efforts to ensure that government hospitals stock Factor VIII, the medicine given to hemophiliacs when they bleed.

She also said that the incidence of Hepatitis C among hemophiliacs was 30 per cent. "The patients get Hepatitis C as it is a blood-borne infection, and there is no vaccine for it yet."

Pre-natal testing

K. Ghosh, Director, Institute of Immuno Hemotology, ICMR, Mumbai, suggested that a hemophilia genetic diagnosis unit for pre-natal testing and carrier detection be established at JIPMER. Dr. Ghosh said that his institute would provide the training for the personnel and also the initial reagents.

"JIPMER already has the required PCR equipment and so not much cost will be involved in setting up the unit. There are 5-6 labs in the country, including one at my institute, CMC Vellore, and AIIMS. The same equipment can be used for diseases such as tuberculosis, Downs Syndrome and thalasamia. By March or April, the unit will be functional."

Pre-natal testing conducted on the foetus within the first three months would help find if the disease has affected the baby.

Srini V. Kaveri, Director, INSERM Unit 681, Paris; and Sebastien Lacroix-Desmazes of the same institute said that research was being conducted to find out how to prevent the body's immune system from making antibodies to Factor VIII. He said immuno suppression and the absorption of antibodies were two common ways of treatment, but a new method called immuno modulation was being tried out now.

JIPMER Director K.S.V.K. Subba Rao, French Consul General Joelle Rayet, and Dutta, HOD, Medicine, spoke on the occasion.

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