In October 2014, the Egyptian Ministry of Health signed the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) Global Alliance for Progress (GAP) Program Second Decade agreement. This significant event occurred during a visit to Egypt by Alain Weill, WFH president, and Marijke van den Berg, WFH Vice President, Medical.
This GAP agreement is a continuation of the work started in 2003, when Egypt joined the GAP First Decade Program and became the first GAP country in the Middle East region. During this period, the bleeding disorders community in Egypt witnessed many positive steps towards improvement in hemophilia care in the country.
Among the most important events were the establishment of a national hemophilia committee that had representation from different health sectors and the establishment of a full coagulation lab at the Ministry of Health Central Health Laboratory. In addition, they managed the organization of eight multidisciplinary symposiums on hemophilia and other bleeding disorders in Cairo and other major cities; the organization of more than eight multidisciplinary training workshops for nurses, physiotherapists, laboratory technicians, and social workers; training of ten Egyptian health professionals through WFH International Hemophilia Training Centre (IHTC) Program; and the donation of two million units of factor VIII and factor IX which helped in treating patients and perform many surgical interventions.
At the end of the first decade of the GAP Program, Egypt served as a model within the Middle East region, helping guide other GAP projects in other countries, such as Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Syria.
However, even with all these positive achievements, Egyptian health professionals felt that there is still room for further improvement for bleeding disorders care in Egypt, particularly in Hemophilia Treatment Centres (HTCs) outside of Cairo.
Moving into Phase Two
“Since the establishment of the Global Alliance for Progress project in Egypt, we have seen a remarkable improvement in care where hereditary bleeding disorders have been included in the national health care system. Yet the second decade of the GAP Program will focus on harmonization of comprehensive care across the country which will reflect on improved diagnosis, registry, and management. The Egyptian GAP project will help ensure access to care reaches all areas of the country,” said Magdy El-Ekiaby, MD, head of the Egyptian Hemophilia Society and WFH board member.
The current GAP project is going to bring many parties together in order to consolidate previous achievements and maximize these results. Work will begin between the Egyptian Hemophilia Society, Ministry of Health, General Commission of Health Insurance, National Blood Transfusion Services, and health professionals across different sectors to address the most pressing needs.