WFH NETWORK

Egypt enters second decade of GAP Program

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.

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For the bleeding disorders community in Egypt, the hope is that there will be a harmonization of hemophilia management in all HTCs across the country; provision of training on laboratory diagnosis in HTCs outside Cairo, and the establishment of a National External Quality Assessment Scheme (NEQAS) in the country.

In addition, there will be training provided for healthcare professionals in treatment centres outside of Cairo on the implementation of the WFH Treatment Guidelines. Issues will be addressed related to women with bleeding disorders and support VWD outreach, with a focus on corrective surgeries. The WFH Humanitarian Aid Program will also contribute to supporting treatment and care in Egypt by the donation of two million IUs of clotting factor concentrates annually over the period of the GAP project.

These new achievements will lead the way to improving bleeding disorders care in Egypt that would be positively reflected on the life of all people with bleeding disorders in Egypt.

The WFH is grateful for the support of the GAP Program from Baxter, Bayer, Biogen Idec Hemophilia, Biotest, CSL Behring, Grifols, Kedrion, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, and SOBI.