Thalassaemia and sickle cell disease seminar (20.9.2013)

Written on the 24 September 2013

Thalassaemia and sickle cell disease seminar (20.9.2013) Thalassaemia and sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder particularly prevalent in Victoria’s emerging and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.

Approximately 200 health professionals and interested members of the public attended an update on clinical management, new research and emerging therapies at the Transfusion Outcomes Research collaborative Seminar at The Alfred Hospital on Friday.

I had the pleasure of opening this important event on behalf of the Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, Nicholas Kotsiras MP.
This year’s seminar addressed the growing issue of supporting patients with haemoglobinopathies –thalassaemia and sickle cell disease.

Melbourne is now home to the largest group of people in Australia living with haemoglobinopathies due to the diversity of its population and the fact that this genetic disorder is found predominantly in people originating from the Mediterranean, the Asian and Indian subcontinent, and Africa.

Monash Medical Centre in Victoria is currently the largest haemoglobinopathy treatment centre in Australia, and as a result also has the largest transfusion requirement in the state. Other states have also noted increases in the number of patients affected by this condition.

These patients often have major, complex and long-term transfusion requirements, in addition to other clinical and social support needs.

The aim of the 2013 seminar was to bring together a network of health professionals from various backgrounds to discuss prevention, diagnosis and management of thalassaemia and sickle cell disease in Australia; to promote awareness of the need for a national registry; and to work together to improve outcomes for Australians with these conditions.

The host of this event was the Transfusion Outcomes Research Collaborative (TORC), which is a clinical research partnership between Monash University and the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

I would like to congratulate community leaders, educators  and health practitioners involved with this disease for their commitment to engage and participate in research and share experiences of this illness. Their presence adds to the ongoing dialogue about this disorder.

Pic: Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Georgie Crozier MLC pictured at the Alfred Hospital Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell Disease seminar with community leaders, educators and health practitioners.

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