From 5 to 7 October 2018, EAHAD attended the 31st European Haemophilia Consortium Conference. Taking place in Brussels, the 2018 EHC conference was co-hosted by the Society of Patients with Haemophilia in Azerbaijan and offered a programme full of interesting and comprehensive sessions, that touched on many aspects of importance to the haemophilia community. In fact, the meeting already started a day early with a bike ride from Leuven to Brussels that helped raise awareness and promote the importance of physical activity.
On Friday 5 October, EAHAD President, Prof. Mike Makris, took part in the annual Youth vs. Established Leaders debate, which has become a lively and entertaining fixture on the EHC Conference programme. Prof. Makris was partnered with a youth delegate in a debate about the future of gene therapy and novel haemophilia products, mixing humour with interesting analysis into the treatment horizon for haemophilia in the upcoming years.
The next day started off with a symposium dedicated to physiotherapy, organised by EAHAD’s Physiotherapists Committee , entitled “Importance, Recent Developments and Actual Implementation of Physiotherapy for Haemophilia in Europe”. It was eye-opening for the audience to see how much technological innovation has happened in the field of physiotherapy care, including the availability of point-of-care ultrasound and mobile applications allowing patients to follow guided exercises in the comfort of their own homes. The session was also an opportunity to introduce the patient audience to the European Physiotherapists Network, which counts over 250 members, one of whom, Lia Ramishvilli from Georgia, gave an overview of progress made towards getting patients access to physiotherapy services in her country.
The presentations mentioned above were just a few of the many insightful discussions that took place throughout the conference, including sessions on Women with Bleeding Disorders, Gene Therapy, and what haemophilia care will look like in 2028. We are already looking forward to the next iteration of the EHC Conference, which will coincide with the Consortium’s 30th anniversary.