The Filipino meeting featured a two day programme split between a CME Scientific Meeting on day 1 and a Patients’ Workshop on day 2. The event was very well attended, bringing together over 80 participants on day 1 and 100 participants on day 2.
The guest medical speakers provided presentations on an array of topics tailored for the national doctors ranging from “How to diagnose PIDs with inexpensive tests” by Dr Teresa Español to “Novel insights into PID: new genetic defects” by Prof Martin Van Hagen. Dr Teresa Español also highlighted some case study examples from Spanish patients and Dr Florecita R. Padua spoke about PID management in the Philippines.
On the second day of the meeting participants got together to come up with a collaborative approach towards PID management. Prof Martin Van Hagen (The Netherlands) did the first presentation of the day and spoke about Primary Immunodeficiencies and the Immune System’. IPOPI Board member Bruce Lim from Malaysia shared the experience of creating a patient group and Dr Narissara Suratannon brought the Thai example of doctors and patients working together towards better PID awareness. Mr Johan Prevot, IPOPI’s Executive Director and Mrs Jose Drabwell IPOPI’s President, provided additional guidance on the role of patient organisations to improve access to early diagnosis and care.
In the Philippines, PIDs are rarely identified and therefore rarely treated. Many patients and their families need to raise funds to obtain their treatments because PIDs are not recognised in the national healthcare insurance system. The lack of expertise among doctors leaves the Philippines with only a few diagnosed cases of PIDs. The access to treatment is very restricted in the island states with 7 640 islands but only 3 treating hospitals.
Participants reached a unanimous agreement that there is a need to launch a national patient organisation in the country.
IPOPI looks forward to supporting the objective of formalising these two new patient groups and has great confidence in their ability to improve conditions for the PID patients’ community in the region.
The Philippines event was sponsored by Kedrion.