Doctors in Belgium are still less aware about the fate of thalidomide-affected people compared to doctors in Germany or the United Kingdom. They do not have any in-depth knowledge about the physiological characteristics of a patient with deformities caused by thalidomide. In an emergency however, it is of great importance that the attending doctor is able to acquire the knowledge necessary before making any medical related decisions. In collaboration with La Braise in Brussels, the Grünenthal Foundation helped to develop a special patient card to ensure speedy access to personal medical records of thalidomide-affected individuals in Belgium.
The Contergan Foundation wanted to provide an extensive information portal for thalidomide-affected people in Germany. Given the Contergan Foundation’s resources were limited Grünenthal provided a donation in order to realize the project. The information portal provides an overview of current health, legal and financial issues as well as an up-to-date database on media research. Additionally, an address list of all relevant offices, such as specialist doctors or important administrative bodies, has been compiled. The goal is to provide thalidomide-affected individuals with a comprehensive information portal via which they can exchange ideas and network within a private forum.
You can access the information portal of the Contergan Foundation at http://www.contergan-infoportal.de
The peer-to-peer initiative was founded within the framework of a study project of September 2011 by the North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry of Health on the psychosocial situation of thalidomide-affected people. In 2013, the Grünenthal Foundation has taken over the financing of this initiative. As part of this project, thalidomide-affected people are mutually supportive of one another in dealing with authorities, attending doctor’s consultations and filling out applications. The carers also undertake psychosocial tasks. They are specially trained within the project to be able to deal with the needs, questions and problems of those affected by thalidomide on an equal footing.
You can find more information at http://www.contergan-nrw-peer-to-peer.eu