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Hemophilia Saskatchewan - Commemoration 2014


These are the November 26-28, 2014 displays at Canadian Blood Services, both in Regina and Saskatoon, to commemorate the the Tainted Blodd Tragedy this year: 
a candle, flowers (donated by Wascana Flowers), and the Hemophilia Saskatchewan plaque (October 27, 2009)










On November 5, 2014, the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly was made aware of the Krever inquiry report's 17th year anniversary as a way to commemorate the tainted Blood Tragedy thanks to the presence of Faye Katzman.

Below is an excerpt of the Hansard which can be consulted at this web link:

http://docs.legassembly.sk.ca/legdocs/Legislative Assembly/Hansard/27L4S/141106Debates.pdf



LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF SASKATCHEWAN
November 6, 2014

[The Assembly met at 10:00.]
[Prayers]
ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS

The Speaker: — I recognize the Minister of Health.

Hon. Mr. Duncan: — Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I’ve two sets of introductions to introduce to you and through you to all members of the Legislative Assembly. First of all joining us today, Mr. Speaker, in your gallery is Faye Katzman. Faye is a member of the Canadian Hemophilia Society. She’s seated in your gallery. She serves on the federal HIV [human immunodeficiency virus] advisory council, sits on the national HIV hepatitis C committee for the Canadian Hemophilia Society, and is a past president of the Hemophilia Society.

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Hemophilia Society is a national health charity with an important mission to improve the health and quality of life of people with inherited bleeding disorders and to find a cure. Mr. Speaker, today Ms. Katzman is here to commemorate the Krever inquiry which was released 17 years ago this month and to remember the many lives that were affected by this tainted blood tragedy. Mr. Speaker, I would ask that all members join with me in welcoming her to the Saskatchewan legislature and for her commitment to helping those in need in raising awareness of the Krever inquiry. So I’d ask all members to . . .

The following article by Heather Polischuk, was published in The Leader-Post on December 1, 2014 (English only) :

http://www.leaderpost.com/health/Commemorating those impacted tainted blood scandal/10429105/story.html

Commemorating those impacted by tainted blood scandal

Seventeen years ago, an inquiry by Justice Horace Krever recommended compensation for the thousands of Canadians who had received blood tainted with HIV and hepatitis C more than a decade prior.
 
While much has been done to prevent a similar occurrence in the future - the establishment of Canadian Blood Services (CBS) and more detailed blood testing, for example - the former president of Hemophilia Saskatchewan says many continue to live with the fallout from errors made in the past.

Faye Katzman (who also serves on the Canadian Hemophilia Society and is on its HIV/hepatitis C committee) was involved in setting up a commemoration at the Saskatchewan branch of CBS this past week to ensure the public health disaster, and those whose lives were forever changed by it, are not forgotten.

'It's the worst public health disaster in Canadian history and it was preventable,' Katzman said. 'And it decimated the hemophilia community ... I think this was one of the casualties of the tainted blood tragedy was that the confidence in the system was undermined.'

According to the Canadian Hemophilia Society, more than 1,100 transfused Canadians were infected with HIV, 700 of whom had hemophilia or other bleeding disorders. Between 700 and 800 of those people have since died. The numbers of those infected with hepatitis C are even more alarming at up to 20,000 people. It isn't known how many have died, but it's estimated to be in the thousands, the society reports.

'I think so many decisions that were made in the '80s had to do with cutting costs and I think what was compromised was safety ...,' Katzman said. 'As a mother of a child with hemophilia, I'm always encouraged when I hear that Canada has one of the safest blood systems in the world. And so that's something that I need to believe and I want to believe. And I think that so much has been done.

'But I think that the reason why the commemoration event is so important is because, as George Santayana reminds us, 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.' And what went wrong in the '80s was a series of decisions, often cavalier decisions, or non-decisions, and all these people who contracted HIV and hep-C from the hemophilia community, from the transfuse community, from those going into the hospital for surgeries, they received blood products that should have been removed from the system and weren't.'

Katzman said she spent lots of time attending funerals all over the province in the 1990s for those whose tainted blood-caused HIV had developed into fullblown AIDS - memories that are still emotional for her.
Because of the genetic nature of hemophilia, it meant some families had to bury more than one loved one as a direct result of the tainted blood tragedy.

'It was overwhelming ...,' Katzman said. 'Losing anybody was too much but this was too much to bear.'
While being HIV-positive is no longer the death sentence it once was, and while safeguards have been put in place to prevent a recurrence of this disaster, Katzman said she is split between feeling grateful to live in Canada where hemophilia treatments are advanced and concern for the people she knows who rely on having a safe blood supply to live normal lives.

'I have mixed feelings here and this is exactly the message of the commemoration is to be grateful, to be responsible and to be vigilant,' she said.