Haemophilia: Bridging the gap between India, Canada
“I have a clumsy four-year-old. He falls often and hurts himself. Thankfully, he doesn’t have haemophilia,” says Dr Jayson M Stoffman, assistant professor, department of paediatrics at University of Manitoba.india Updated: Oct 02, 2011 01:46 IST
“I have a clumsy four-year-old. He falls often and hurts himself. Thankfully, he doesn’t have haemophilia,” says Dr Jayson M Stoffman, assistant professor, department of paediatrics at University of Manitoba.
He was one of the members of the Canadian team that visited India as part of a twinning programme between the Manitoba bleeding disorders programme and Delhi’s Haemophilia Society to train paediatricians and technicians on diagnosis and care.
His team is also training physiotherapists on disease management. “In India, the emphasis is on teaching patients how to control pain and swelling, and on strengthening muscles. In Canada, we try to prevent bleeding episodes through balance training,” says physiotherapist Shahnawaz Alam, who has been with the Haemophilia Society for the past five years."If a particular activity results in frequent bleeding, then that needs to be curtailed or done differently," says physiotherapist Matthew Thiessen, another member of the Canadian team.
But the programme also taught the Canadian doctors a thing or two. “The Canadians learnt about the extreme forms of disease, which are not possible to observe there,” said Indira Venkataraman, founder member of the Haemophilia Society of India and the secretary of its Delhi chapter.
For haemophilics especially, obesity can be a major problem. It often affects coordination, resulting in more falls and bleeding. And unlike in Canada, where such children even have a chance to play ice hockey, here, it means not going near a playing field at all. “I missed playing cricket,” said the 21-year-old BPO-employee Amit Gulati.
“Every chronic disease, like diabetes or heart disease, needs some adjustments in lifestyle. One needs to take that in stride and make smart choices in life.” Stoffman said.