Call to set up haemophilia centres

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Jan. 25. The Government should set aside a reasonable amount of money in its health budget for the treatment of haemophilia patients, the president of the World Federation of Haemophilia, Brian O'Mahony, has said.

Speaking at a press conference here on Friday, he pointed out that India had the medical expertise but lacked resources for the expensive haemophilia treatment.

He said he was highly enthused by the visit to the local chapters of the Haemophilia Federation and added that he would be meeting the Union Health Minister later.

The Medical Colleges in the State have no facilities to test for or treat haemophilia and many patients continued to die because they were unaware of their disease, the president of the Haemophilic Society of Kerala, George M. Tharakan, said.

Only two private hospitals in the State had the expertise or facilities to treat haemophilia patients. Haemophilia centres should be started at all Medical Colleges in the State for the early detection and treatment of the disease, he said.

Despite an order from the Government that the medicines or `factor concentrates' should be made available to patients free of cost, this has not happened, he said. Because of the expenses involved in the treatment, many indigent patients were forced to go without medical help.