WFH NETWORK

Making acute bleed treatment possible in Kenya

Treatment for people with a bleeding disorder in Kenya has dramatically improved in the last five years. This change was made possible by the collaborative efforts of the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program, and the Kenya Haemophilia Association (KHA), the country’s national member organization (NMO). Nearly 6 million IUs of factor were given to the African country in 2019. Since 2015, the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program has provided nearly 17 million IUs of factor to those who need it in the country. As more treatment has been made available in Kenya, the number of people identified with and treated for hemophilia has increased.

Festus Njuguna, MD, of the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret explains that initially, the hospital had limited ability to diagnose bleeding disorders, and also had limited treatment product inventory. Donated factor provided by the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program has completely changed this situation and has allowed the hospital to treat acute bleeds. The effect of this has been to drastically improve the lives of people in the country—especially those of children.

One poignant example of the effect of WFH Humanitarian Aid Program donations is Steve, an 8-year-old boy with hemophilia A. Steve was brought to the hospital with bleeding in the brain which the physicians couldn’t stop. Judy—Steve’s mother—recalled that day as being the beginning of a tough, traumatizing journey. The situation was particularly difficult for her because she lost her first son to hemophilia. She said the physicians explained that they were going to give Steve factor but that it would be very expensive. She told them to go ahead, but when they asked her how she would pay, she said, “I don’t know. But what I want is that you don’t let my son die.”

Fortunately, a turn of events would prove to be literally life-changing for Steve. The hospital put her in contact with Kibet Shikuku, MD, Chairman of the KHA. Shikuku explained that they had factor they could give her son. When Judy asked how much treatment would cost, he told her it would be free. She remembers thinking, “I couldn’t believe it was real.” Steve received treatment and—aside from a scar on his forehead—is now a healthy and active boy attending school. He is on prophylaxis and Judy is secure knowing that he has access to treatment in the future should it become necessary.

Jeremy Ngurichana’s son is another child who benefits from the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program. Ngurichana explained that before his son began receiving donated factor, he had to stop his business and eventually stop working in order to take care of his boy. He says it was a big challenge for him and his wife. Now that his son has access to treatment, his life has changed. One day, well into his treatment regimen, his son was mildly wounded and because of his prophylaxis regimen, the cut hardly bled. This seemingly small event which was actually a milestone in the boy’s life.

The WFH Humanitarian Aid Program has made it possible to treat bleeds, prevent bleeds, and in some cases even reverse morbidity in Kenya. It has also allowed for improvements in care in terms of increasing education and improving the diagnosis and management of bleeding disorders. The security of a steady and predictable product supply has also made it possible for children to go on prophylaxis regimens. Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital has even set up a dedicated clinic for people with a bleeding disorder. Patients can walk in, receive the treatment they need, and be seen by a physician who is familiar with their condition. This has improved care overall and has also reduced hospital stays.

About the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program

The WFH Humanitarian Aid Program improves the lack of access to care and treatment by providing much-needed support for people with inherited bleeding disorders in developing countries. By providing patients with a more predictable and sustainable flow of humanitarian aid donations, the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program makes it possible for patients to receive consistent and reliable access to treatment and care. None of this would be possible without the generous support of Sanofi Genzyme and Sobi, our Founding Visionary Contributors; Bayer, our Visionary Contributor; Grifols and Roche, our Leadership Contributors; and our Contributor, CSL Behring.  To learn more about the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program, visit www.treatmentforall.org

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