By Laman Ismayilova
The 1st International Congress of Azerbaijani Hematology Specialists timed to the 10th anniversary of the activity of Thalassemia Center kicked off in Baku on May 22.
The event was attended by Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva.
Executive Director of the Thalassemia Center Valeh Huseynov made opening remarks at the conference co-organized by Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Health, Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Thalassemia Center, and Azerbaijan Hematology Specialists public union.
He emphasized the major role of the center, which opened in 2009, in treating people suffering from this disease. Over the past period, a lot of work has been done on the basis of state programs and orders signed by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in order to strengthen the material and technical base of the Thalassemia Center.
Huseynov said that within the framework of the Order "On equipping the sequencing laboratories of the new generation of the Thalassemia Center", signed by President Ilham Aliyev in November 2018, modern equipment has been purchased. The Center will start the installation of these devices. Thus, the Thalassemia Center will become the most modern center for genetic diagnosis not only in Azerbaijan, but also in the whole region, Huseynov said.
In order to expand ties in the field of research and the fight against hematological diseases, the Thalassemia Center, which occupies a special place in the region in terms of its profile and genetic diagnostic capabilities, began to cooperate with several countries. Within the framework of international relations, visits of foreign specialists, joint scientific meetings, scientific and practical seminars, as well as long-term courses for local specialists in modern centers are organized.
Executive director of the Thalassemia Center noted that the work carried out gives a serious impetus to the development of various spheres of the hematological service. He noted that mutual visits were successful in terms of cooperation and exchange of experience of scientists from different countries, and that the development of hematology in Azerbaijan necessitated the creation of a scientific society uniting hematologists and the regular organization of scientific congresses.
Huseynov expressed the confidence that the Azerbaijan Hematology Specialists public union will unite the country's specialists in this field and the International Congress of Azerbaijani Hematology Specialists will play a significant role in this direction.
He also informed about the project “For the Sake of Life without Thalassemia”, which has been implemented since 2005 on the initiative of the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Mehriban Aliyeva. Huseynov noted that the project aims at the organization of quality treatment of the patients as well as educational work in this area.
During this year, the Thalassemia Center together with the Heydar Aliyev Foundation's Regional Development Public Association held 7 scientific symposiums under the slogan "For the Sake of Life without Thalassemia" in various regions including Mingachevir, Gakh, Shirvan, Lankaran, Guba, Barda and Ganja. Within the framework of regional symposia, free medical examinations were carried out to determine the carriers of thalassemia. Blood samples taken from applicants were examined at the Thalassemia Center. The 8th regional symposium will be held on May 25 as part of the 1st International Congress of Azerbaijani Hematology Specialists.
On the first day of the congress, a course on flow cytometry and cytogenetics was held for the first time in Azerbaijan. Within the framework of the congress, a nurses' symposium will also be organized for the first time in the country.
Speaking at the congress, Chairman of the Azerbaijani Parliament's Healthcare Committee Ahliman Amiraslanov noted that holding international events in the country has become a tradition. Stressing that President Ilham Aliyev and First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva pay constant attention to the health sector, the chairman of the committee spoke about the work carried out in the fight against hereditary blood diseases, adopted by state programs.
He brought to attention the important role of mandatory premarital examinations in the reduction of hereditary blood disorders. In his speech, Amiraslanov stressed that compulsory medical insurance, which will be applied in the country on January 1, 2020, will contribute to the treatment of these diseases. He also informed about the research at the genetic level and preparing a large-scale program in the field of hematology.
Speaking at the event, Vice-Chairman of the International Federation of Thalassemia Michael Angastiniotis, representative of the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA) Taner Demirer, Chairman of the Turkish Society of Hematology Guner Hayri Ozsan, and professor of the Koc University's hospital Burhan Ferhanoglu highly appreciated measures to combat blood diseases in Azerbaijan. The experts stressed that the event creates great opportunities in terms of tracking the latest advances in clinical research.
The Scientific Secretary of the Congress Ramin Bayramli, informed that 939 representatives of 22 countries are participating in the event and 146 reports have been submitted.
Then, panel meetings were organized. The 1st International Congress of Azerbaijani Hematology Specialists will last until May 25.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz