This evening we were delighted to have Cramlington Camera Club member and former club president Paul Murphy returning for a second time as our guest speaker.
The subject of Paul’s presentation this evening was the two trips, in 2017 & 2018 that Paul and a team of scientists and clinicians made to India as part of the World Federation of Haemophilia’s ‘Twinning’ program between the North East’s Haemophilia Centre & the Haemophilia Treatment Centre in Aluva, South India. The purpose of which was to educate and share skills to improve diagnosis and treatment of Haemophilia.
Paul is Chief Health Care Scientist at The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust based at the RVI and is ‘laboratory lead’ on the twinning.
Paul started his talk with a short Power Point presentation in which he described exactly what Haemophilia was, ( a disorder that impairs the body’s ability to make blood clot ), how it manifested itself and what treatment could be offered to those diagnosed with it and his hopes for continued research to hopefully, one day, find a cure.
He continued by showing images he took of the warm hearted welcome they received from the staff and patients at the Aluva Treatment Centre along with images of the laboratories, treatment rooms and equipment used by the staff, followed by pictures of the many sufferers that attend the centre showing how the disease affects the joints causing extreme swelling and severe pain. Many of these patients in spite of their suffering still managed to smile and were eager to have their photo’s taken. As treatment centres are few most would have travelled considerable distances to attend.
When not working Paul was able to travel the locality, at times using the many Tuk Tuk’s, that resemble 3 wheeled death traps that ply the cities streets, observing moped’s and motor cycles, many with 3 or 4 people ‘balanced’ on them. Traffic, as in most Indian towns and cities we heard was ‘challenging’. Colourful advertising signs and hoardings seemed to be in abundance everywhere as was graffiti, strangely often written in English.
Paul showed images of the many street vendors selling fresh fruit, vegetables and the many spices the Indian Sub-Continent is renowned for. Also the many roadside ‘food emporiums’ that Paul wisely avoided trying.
A highlight was a visit to the impressive Athirappilly Falls the largest waterfall in Kerala with water cascading some 82ft. Paul told how although he found the trek to the bottom of the falls hard going he saw woman carrying babies making easy work of it.
When Paul returned to the area in 2018 many parts had been devastated by the severe monsoons that had recently hit and images Paul took showed how dramatically parts of the landscape had been affected with many inhabitance losing their homes and possessions.
At the end of his presentation Paul asked if anyone would be kind enough to give a small donation that would be put towards procuring much needed equipment for the Aluva Treatment Centre and pleasingly many members obliged.
We thank Paul for a presentation that was not only entertaining but was extremely interesting and informative backed up with some lovely images.
Bob Finlay (President)