JHF hosted a special medical delegation led by Professor Jan Smeitink and his esteemed medical colleagues from the Nijmegen Center for Mitochondrial Disorders (NCMD), Radboud Ziekenhuis, Nijmegen, The Netherlands from November 21, 2011 to November 26, 2011. JHF fully sponsored, and organized by Paediatric Neurology Association of Hong Kong and the University of Hong Kong, the first meeting on Mitochondrial Medicine in Hong Kong.
(1) Cocktail Reception (November 21, 2011)
To welcome Professor Jan Smeitink and colleagues from the Radboud Ziekenhus, Nijimegen, JHF co-hosted a welcome cocktail reception with the Consul-General of the Netherlands, Mr. Robert Schuddeboom on 21 November 2011. The cocktail reception was great success with over 60 JHF special guests in attendance.
(2) Press Conference (November 24, 2011)
JHF co-hosted a press conference with the Paediatric Neurology Association of Hong Kong and the University of Hong Kong. We had 7 local newspapers covering our event, namely Economic Daily News, Oriental Daily News, The Sun, Metro Daily, AM730, SingTao Daily and Sky Post.
A touching case shared by Mrs. Cheng, who has a son suffering symptoms from an unknown cause and needed help with obtaining a diagnosis. With the financial support from the Joshua Hellmann Foundation for Orphan Disease, Mrs. Cheng’s son was able to submit a tissue sample to the Netherlands for diagnostic testing and resulted in the diagnosis of a mitochondrial disease. Mrs. Cheng can now redirect her focus from determining the cause to finding treatments for her son.
(3) Hong Kong Annual Scientific Meeting on Mitochondrial Medicine (24-26 November, 2011)
NCMD is a world leading team in mitochondrial diseases. It is a full facility international reference centre for clinical care, biochemical, pathological and molecular biological diagnostics and research of patients suspected for or with established disturbances of the mitochondrial energy metabolism.
Professor Jan Smeitink is full professor in Mitochondrial Medicine more than 10 years. Professor Smeitink has an ultimate goal to enhance the understanding of human mitochondrial assembly, the pathophysiological consequences of mitochondrial disease and the development of new treatment strategies.
This esteemed group of medical professors and doctors led the 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting on Mitochondrial Medicine – a 3-days symposium fully sponsored by the JHF. Symposium includes discussion on mitochondrial diseases and sharing of local JHF-sponsored cases as presented by Dr. Cheuk-Wing Fung.
JHF has a strong collaboration with NCMD on the diagnosis and treatment of children with suspected Mitochondrial Disease, a condition, which falls under the umbrella of Orphan Disease – medical condition presently neglected by the pharmaceutical industry. With the help of these international experts, local medical communities together with the JHF hope to raise awareness of the critical need for a specialized diagnostic center and a supporting children’s specialist department focused on Orphan Disease.
From the meeting, JHF is supporting the Chinese translation of the medical pocket book on Mitochondrial Medicine edited by Professor Jan Smeitink, to improve the medical understanding in Mitochondrial Medicine in Hong Kong.