Expanding Horizons Virtually
Sjögren’s India first bilingual (English & Hindi) online LIVE TALK (Webinar) on “Rheumatic Diseases: Challenges and Hope” on 16 September 2017 aimed at enhancing awareness about lesser understood diseases, during the Rheumatic Diseases Awareness Month. Dr. Sapan C. Pandya (MD DM Clinical Immunology & Rheumatology) was the Guest Expert of this session hosted by Ms. Kirtida Oza, Co-Founder of Sjögren’s India. The post session analytics revealed that the event was viewed live from 132 locations from seven countries from Asia, Middle East, Europe, Australia and USA; proving that reaching across borders is possible with a little effort and technical support (in this case ably provided by Cybersurf India).
The hour long programme included a brief introduction to Sjögren’s India, an overview of lesser talked about Rheumatic Diseases including Scleroderma, Lupus, Inflammatory Myositis and Sjögren’s syndrome. Dr. Pandya not only talked about the challenges faced by Patients but also the Medical community especially since the Doctor: Patient ratio is highly skewed. He lauded the fact that this event was organized through the efforts of patients and that too without support from any Pharmaceutical company. He also emphasized the role of the support groups the world over and how such organizations have been instrumental in not only providing the socio-cultural and emotional support for sufferers, but have also contributed to newer understanding of the diseases and even supported scientific research in countries such as USA. Dr. Pandya appraised the audience about treatment options, new research and the ‘Hope’ that someday there will be a ‘Cure’ for these conditions.
The highlight of the programme was the Question-Answer session where live questions from the audience were answered by the Guest expert. Questions ranged from generic to disease specific. The programme ended with Take Home Messages from the Doctor and the Patient educator.