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Argentina: Availability of health care to individuals suffering from haemophilia; treatment of such individuals, particularly in Buenos Aires and Mendoza

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 17 October 2003
Citation / Document Symbol ARG42099.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Argentina: Availability of health care to individuals suffering from haemophilia; treatment of such individuals, particularly in Buenos Aires and Mendoza, 17 October 2003, ARG42099.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/403dd1e110.html [accessed 17 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Estimates of the size of Argentina's haemophiliac population vary, ranging from a low of 1,200 (Página/12 23 May 2003) to a high of 2,700 people (La Nación 16 Dec. 2001). According to Raúl Perez Bianco, medical director of the Buenos Aires-based Haemophilia Foundation (Fundación de la Hemofilia), the disease is thought to affect approximately 1,800 individuals, of which 1,780 are registered with the Foundation (Conocernos Dec. 2001-Apr. 2002).

Health insurance providers are required by law to provide coverage for services related to the treatment of haemophilia (PAHO 1998). In the case of the 35 per cent of Argentinean haemophiliacs who lack health insurance (La Nación 16 Dec. 2001; ibid. 22 May 2002), the cost of treatment is absorbed by the Haemophilia Foundation (ibid.; ibid. 18 Aug. 2001).

Approximately 80 per cent of haemophilia sufferers receive home-based treatment, while the remainder receive treatment in an institutional setting (Conocernos Dec. 2001-Apr. 2002). In Buenos Aires,

patients requiring hospitalisation are referred to the [Haemophilia Foundation's] "Dr. Alfredo Pavlovsky Institute," located near the Institute of Haematological Research. It offers 24-hour-a-day assistance and is staffed by physicians, technicians and nurses who are specially trained in this pathology. The staff is composed of 36 people, and includes physicians, paramedics, fellows, administrative and maintenance personnel. The comprehensive treatment required by haemophilic patients led to the opening of psychology (adult and child), infectology, hepatology (adult and child), orthopaedic, ... dentistry and social assistance offices. Furthermore, it has a large rehabilitation room, an auditorium for meetings and a cold chamber for the storage of antihaemophilic concentrates (World Federation of Hemophilia n.d.).

The Institute is recognized by the World Hemophilia Foundation (WHF) as an international centre for the training of health professionals working in the area of haemophilia (Fundación de la Hemofilia n.d.). In addition to the institute in Buenos Aires, the Foundation also operates treatment centres in Bahía Blanca, Córdoba, Mar del Plata, Mendoza, Neuquén, Resistencia, Rosario, Salta, San Juan and Tucumán (ibid.). In the view of Raúl Perez, the distribution of these centres throughout the country is "quite equitable" (bastante equitativa), giving haemophiliacs access to specialized care in their own city or region (Conocernos Dec. 2001-Apr. 2002).

Perez also indicated that Argentina is among three South American countries which offer reasonably good levels of medical and social services to individuals suffering from haemophilia (ibid.). However, he added that the quantity of anti-haemophilic concentrates (concentrados antihemofílicos) consumed on a per capita basis in Argentina is only half that considered adequate by the World Federation of Hemophilia and the World Health Organization (ibid.). In a telephone interview, the president of the Mendoza chapter of the Haemophilia Foundation stated that sufficient medical services are available in the province to meet haemophiliacs' treatment needs (Fundación de la Hemofilia 15 Oct. 2003).

No mention of discrimination against individuals suffering from haemophilia could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. The president of the Haemophilia Foundation's Mendoza chapter stated that although it is possible haemophiliacs could face discrimination, he did not know of any instances where this has occurred, either in Mendoza or in the country more generally (ibid.).

According to newspaper reports, 211 haemophiliacs, including 2 in Mendoza (Los Andes Online 24 May 2003), contracted HIV after receiving contaminated blood products in the mid-1980s (ibid.; Clarín.com 23 May 2003). Roughly 60 per cent of those individuals have since died (ibid.; Los Andes Online 24 May 2003).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Los Andes Online [Mendoza]. 24 May 2003. Celeste Polidori. "Dos hemofílicos mendocinos contrajeron sida por usar el remedio desechado en EEUU." [Accessed 14 Oct. 2003]

Clarín.com [Buenos Aires]. 23 May 2003. Sibila Camps. "Hubo 211 contagiados, de los que murieron 120." [Accessed 14 Oct. 2003]

Conocernos [Buenos Aires]. December 2001-April 2002. Vol. 7, No. 18. Raúl Perez Bianco. "Tratamiento de la hemofilia Estado actual en América del Sur." [Accessed 14 Oct. 2003]

Fundación de la Hemofilia, Mendoza. 15 October 2003. Telephone interview with the chapter president.
_____. n.d. "Fundación: Historia." [Accessed 14 Oct. 2003]

La Nación [Buenos Aires]. 22 May 2002. "Preocupa la situación de las personas con hemofilia en el país." [Accessed 14 Oct. 2003]
_____. 16 December 2001. "Temen por el futuro de una fundación para la hemofilia." [Accessed 14 Oct. 2003]
_____. 18 August 2001. "Podrían faltar medicamentos para tratar la hemofilia." [Accessed 14 Oct. 2003]

Página/12 [Buenos Aires]. 23 May 2003. Pedro Lipcovich. "Si es para el Tercer Mundo, es bueno." [Accessed 14 Oct. 2003]

Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO). 1998. "Argentina." Health in the Americas. 1998 Edition. Vol. 11. Scientific Publication, No. 569. Washington, DC: PAHO. [Accessed 14 Oct. 2003]

World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH), Montreal. n.d. "Argentina-Buenos Aires." [Accessed 14 Oct. 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted

Fundación de la Hemofilia, Buenos Aires

IRB databases

Internet sites, including:

Los Andes Online [Mendoza]

Clarín [Buenos Aires]

Federación Española de Hemofilia

La Nación [Buenos Aires]. 2000-2003

Página/12 [Buenos Aires]. 2002-2003

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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