Program announced to improve care in developing areas for patients with blood disorders

(WASHINGTON, July 16, 2007) -- To improve the quality of medical care in developing countries, a new partnership between the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) aims to recruit and support physician volunteers to educate and train health-care providers in those countries on the treatment of patients with blood disorders.

This unique program will cover the management of a full range of blood disorders, from the many forms of anemia (including those associated with malaria, pregnancy, iron deficiency, thalassemia, and sickle cell disease), to disorders that lead to abnormal bleeding and clotting, to malignant disorders such as leukemia and lymphoma. Methods designed to enhance the purity of the blood supply in these counties will also be taught.

ASH believes that by focusing on these disorders that have a profound and even deadly effect in the developing countries, the general health in these countries will be improved as will the overall level of care, said Stanley L. Schrier, MD, the Chair of ASHs Subcommittee on HVO, which oversees the program.

Currently, HVO has more than 60 programs in 25 developing nations in partnership with other medical, dental, and nursing societies. ASH is the first partner dedicated solely to hematology. This new venture is the continuation of more than 10 years of work by ASH to advance the care of patients with blood diseases around the world, including work with the World Health Organization and the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients, primarily children and pregnant women, with very severe anemia caused by malaria. ASH has also dedicated its efforts to international outreach through the International Outreach Initiative, which disseminates educational materials to hematology-related institutions in developing countries, as well as through the Visiting Trainee Program, an award program that allows hematology-related

Contact: Laura Stark
American Society of Hematology

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