Outreach workshops held for female community health volunteers in Nepal

The Nepal Hemophilia Society and the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) recently organized two outreach workshops in Nepal. The first one took place on June 30 in Kathmandu and second took place in Birgunj on July 2.

The main objective of the workshops was to educate female community health volunteers to give them the skills to help identify and manage a bleeding disorder. This is critical in Nepal, where there are approximately 58,000 female community health volunteers—but less than 1% know about hemophilia, its symptoms or treatment options.

The events included a brief introduction about hemophilia with clinical and medical aspects covered by Rupesh Mishra, MD, as well as Niraj Kumar Singh, MD. A documentary was then used to show participants the state of hemophilia care in Nepal, including the challenges the bleeding disorders community faces in a country where proper care and treatment are not always available. Other facilitators included Deepak Shakya, President, Nepal Hemophilia Society; Ujol K C, Vice President (Program), Nepal Hemophilia Society; and Sachi Satapathy, WFH Regional Manager, South Asia and East Asia.

The outreach workshops covered:

  • Methods to foster care
  • The management and better understanding of hemophilia and inherited bleeding disorders through support, treatment and basic education to people with hemophilia and their families
  • The development of programs that will educate, enable and empower people with hemophilia to better take care of themselves, be a support to others and be able to contribute to the wellbeing of the community itself

The workshop also covered methods that can be used to improve the management of hemophilia with patients—for example, by recognizing the onsets of bleeds and the appropriate action caregivers should take.

Participants included female community health volunteers, Nepal Hemophilia Society board members and staff, representatives from the Nepalese Mother’s committee, the Nepalese Youth committee and people from local hemophilia chapters.

The workshops received positive responses from participants, with many commenting that their understanding of hemophilia significantly improved as a result of attending. Khusbu Mishra, a staff nurse from Parsa, Nepal, said, “I have seen a few patients with hemophilia in the hospital where I work. But I had no idea about its treatment. Now I can provide better care to those patients.”

Altogether, 128 female community health volunteers received training. These people are now in a better position to recognize patients with hemophilia and play a bigger part in caring for them in Nepal.