On September 21, 2016, in Thanh Hóa, Vietnam, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Ministry of Health of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion and the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) for the implementation of a Global Alliance for Progress (GAP) Program from 2016 to 2019.
Vietnam joined the WFH as a national member organization (NMO) in 2000, and in 2001, bilateral cooperation began to improve the limited bleeding disorders treatment and care services in the country. Prior to 2001, only basic care was being provided by a few hospitals in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Hue. With a population of 94 million people, the estimated hemophilia prevalence in Vietnam is over six thousand people. So far, only 2,400 hemophilia patients have been identified. The identification of 1,000 new patients with hemophilia and related bleeding disorders in Vietnam is a major objective of the GAP Program.
The GAP Program builds on two earlier achievements made by the WFH. In 2011, a hemophilia treatment centre (HTC) Twinning Program relationship was established between the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT) and the Alfred hospital, Australia. The Australian HTC helped advance care by creating an NIHBT comprehensive care team to serve patients from Hanoi and the northern provinces. The program also helped raise the level of hemophilia awareness and knowledge for healthcare providers around the country.
That same year, the WFH supported the Vietnam Hemophilia Association (VHA) by facilitating a hemophilia organization Twinning Program partnership with the Irish Haemophilia Society. Today, the VHA is an active organization with three regional branches, four chapters, and three less structured groups.
The GAP program in Vietnam will establish a national hemophilia care program with a national registry supported by the Ministry of Health. This will also help to expand the care services of the network of seven HTCs in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, and Can Tho through staff training. In addition, ten satellite HTCs and ten VHA chapters will help provide basic care, help procure factor concentrates through a national tender, and reduce state insurance co-payments for factor concentrates.
Ultimately, the GAP Program in Vietnam is not just about helping bleeding disorders patients with medical aid—it is also about encouraging and motivating them to take on greater leadership roles and become more active in the Vietnamese patient association.
The GAP Program is supported by funding from: Bayer, Biogen, Biotest, CSL Behring, Grifols, Kedrion, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Shire, and SOBI.