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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hola from Buenos Aires



I'm in Argentina all week at the World Federation of Hemophilia Congress, where an estimated 4,200 people have congregated to share information about hemophilia and to network. It's been great to meet old friends (some going back 20 years now!) and to meet new friends. It's actually mind-boggling how many people are here, all concerned about hemophilia from all corners of the earth.

Two of the first people I bumped into were Lynley and Richard Scott from New Zealand. I feel like I know them well as--you will see soon--they have contributed many stories of son Andrew for my new inhibitor book. We chatted today for about 5 straight hours as we hung out (while the rest of the convention seemed glued to the big screens to watch the World Cup), and then went out to dinner together. Argentina is beef capital of the world and has some of the best beef--but I don't eat red meat! Well, their flan is great too!
'

It was a great pleasure to see one young leader, Massoud, from Pakistan, who has truly blossomed to a national position. I met him last in 2007 in Lahore, Pakistan. He has hemophilia, and excellent skills that should help his country move forward in care.



The topics for presentations range from the practical--how to help children cope, physiotherapy and health care delivery--to the possible, including many discussions on longer acting factor and new products.

One thing I learned that has really made me happy: Ghana and Tanzania should be inducted as members of the World Federation of Hemophilia. These are two countries I have been advising for the past 5 years each to help them establish hemophilia societies. At long last, their hard work will be paid off by becoming members. Being an official member means that they will be elegible for many more resources from the community, such as training, factor donations and potentially twinning.

I still have a few more days to go and hope to learn lots more to share. ¡Hasta luego!

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