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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 727905, 10 pages
Research Article

The Impact of Migrations on the Health Services for Rare Diseases in Europe: The Example of Haemoglobin Disorders

1Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF), 31 Ifigeneias Street, 2007 Strovolos, Nicosia, Cyprus
2European Network for Rare and Congenital Anaemias (ENERCA), 08036 Barcelona, Spain
3University of Barcelona, Hospital Clinic, Biological Diagnostic Centre, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
4Cyprus Institute of Biomedical Sciences (CIBS), Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2042 Nicosia, Cyprus
5Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health, Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology (EOME), Boston, MA 02115, USA

Received 28 December 2012; Accepted 21 January 2013

Academic Editors: Y. Al-Tonbary, M. A. Badr, A. El-Beshlawy, A. Mansour, and F. Tricta

Copyright © 2013 Michalis Angastiniotis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Migration from different parts of the world to several European countries leads to the introduction of haemoglobinopathy genes into the population, which creates several demanding needs for prevention and treatment services for Hb disorders. In this paper we examined the degree to which European health services have responded to such challenges and in particular to health services necessary to address the needs of patients with thalassaemia and sickle cell disease (SCD). Information on available services was obtained from international organizations, collaborated European project, and the Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF) Databases, which include information from published surveys, registries, field trips, and delegation visits to countries and regions by expert advisors, local associations, and other collaborators’ reports. Results show that countries with traditional strong prevention and treatment programs are well prepared to face the above challenges, while others are urgently needed to address these problems in a systematic way. The Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF) is committed to monitor the progress, raise awareness, and support the promotion of more immigrant-oriented health policies to ensure their integration in society and their access to appropriate, adequate, and timely health services.