by Marie Katzerová, member of the EAHAD Physiotherapists Committee and physiotherapist from Czech Republic
At the beginning of August, around 50 people with haemophilia, their families, and healthcare professionals from Estonia gathered for a four-day summer camp in Värska, Estonia. Along with Prof Paul Giangrande (EHC) and Dr Klaus Ӧsterholm (Helsinki, Finland), I was invited to join in the summer camp to deliver educational sessions for the participants.
Värska is located in the far-eastern area of Estonia, just a couple of kilometres from the Russian border and is known for its spas. In addition to sampling the spa treatments available, participants had the opportunity to attend lectures and practical physiotherapy afternoon sessions.
The morning program was aimed at getting acquainted with international and European haemophilia associations, and the events and activities of these organisations. Prof Giangrande presented on the different associations, societies, and conferences bringing together healthcare professionals specialised in haemophilia. He also spoke about the WFH Twinning Programme and the current Haemophilia Treatment Centre and Organisation Twins, including the twinning partnership between Tallinn, Estonia and Helsinki, Finland. Dr Österholm presented a new book published in cooperation between Finland and Estonia, featuring exercises and mobility aids, guidelines for performing household chores, and advice on how to build muscle strength using the appropriate exercise machines.
I gave three presentations, starting with an introduction to EAHAD and its planned activities. I then spoke about similar camps held in autumn in the Czech Republic where social workers, psychologists, and nutritional therapists are involved. The Czech Haemophilia Association organises spa activities for inhibitor patients and other adults with haemophilia as well as a summer camp for children under six years old accompanied by their parents. A two-week summer camp for children aged six to eighteen years old includes training on self-treatment with clotting factor, physiotherapy and psychology sessions, camp games, sports, and other activities. My final presentation was focused on patients, and the importance to exercise throughout one’s life.
In the afternoon practical physiotherapy session, each patient was examined using the Haemophilia Joint Health Score (HJHS), received treatment, and was given a proposal for home therapy. Individual patients were consulted by five physiotherapists from Sweden, Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia, along with myself from Brno, Czech Republic.
It is evident that these various types of summer camps are very worthwhile for both youth and adults with haemophilia. On behalf of the Physiotherapists Committee, I am exploring the involvement of different types of healthcare professionals in summer camps both in Europe and abroad.