Building a network of specialized health care professionals

At the WFH 2014 World Congress a host of activities were organized to celebrate the success of the IHTC Fellowship Program. Since its inception in 1970, the Program has been instrumental in training medical professionals in developing countries in the diagnosis and treatment of hemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders.

At the Internet hub in the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, a few alumni as well as Dr. Margareth Ozelo, the IHTC director at Hemocentro Unicamp in Brazil, gave presentations on their experiences in the Program. Past fellows such as Nongnuch Sirachainan, a pediatrician from Thailand, as well as Sulochana B., a nurse from India spoke about their training, what they had learned, and how it has shaped their career.

Two of the IHTC directors who retired this year were recognized for their contribution to the program: Dr. Jose Aznar from the Hospital Universitario La Fe in Valencia, Spain as well as Dr. Roshida Hassan from the National Blood Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Designated in 1997 and 1998, both IHTCs have provided support and training to many medical professionals around the world: hematologists, physiotherapists, nurses, orthopedic surgeons, laboratory scientist, and others.

At a dedication ceremony held on May 12, Dr. Santiago Bonanad, who is the current IHTC director in Valencia, and Dr. Faraizah Abdul Karim, the IHTC coordinator in Kuala Lumpur, accepted the plaques on behalf of Drs. Aznar and Hassan who could not attend Congress.

In addition to these events, the IHTC breakfast symposium took place on May 13. The goal of the symposium was to allow IHTC alumni to network with other fellows and IHTC staff, share their experiences with one another, as well as reconnect with their former trainers. The event was well attended and featured presentations from Professor Mike Makris, the IHTC committee chair, and Dr. Huyen Tran, the IHTC director in Melbourne.

In order to strengthen the IHTC alumni network, the IHTC Fellowship Alumni newsletter was launched this year. The newsletter included statistics about the program, a report on the last IHTC breakfast symposium that took place in Amsterdam in 2013 and other relevant stories.

The IHTC Fellowship program is funded solely by Bayer.