Although the Twinning partnership between South Africa and Mauritius officially started in 2013, the two organizations started working together in 2009. The partnership began when the South African Haemophilia Federation (SAHF) visited the Haemophilia Association of Mauritius (HAM) and saw the potential of the young Mauritian association to grow and to better serve the bleeding disorders community in the small African nation.
Where Mauritius is now in their development so too was the SAHF once. However, a Twinning partnership with the Canadian Hemophilia Society (CHS) that started in 2005 led the SAHF to make changes in how it approached bleeding disorders care and advocacy. Since the closure of this partnership, SAHF has made great strides in South Africa.
“We recognized that we could follow a similar process and adapt what we had learned during the Twinning with CHS for Haemophilia Association of Mauritius,” said SAFH President Bradley Rayner.
Armed with the capability and knowledge from their Twinning with Canada, SAHF was the perfect fit to help the Mauritian hemophilia society attain better levels of care.
“Although Mauritius has some basic treatment for people with hemophilia, it was not adequate,” said Asraf Caunhye, President of HAM. “Treatment was done through plasma and cryoprecipitate and care infrastructure was non existent. The assistance from SAHF came at the most opportune time to meet the needs of Mauritius.”
From the outset of the Twinning between the two African nations the goals were clear. To raise awareness of bleeding disorders amongst the general public as well as government officials; to develop a strategic plan; to raise awareness and adopt advocacy skills; to establish a dedicated team of bleeding disorders professionals to assist in the training of care givers; and to ensure all people with bleeding disorders in Mauritius have the chance to lead a normal life.
Although it has been just under a year since the Twinning Program began between HAM and SAHF, the partnership is already beginning to pay dividends. The Mauritian association has already developed a clear mandate to move forward with, has begun to establish ties with government officials, private sector companies and media outlets, and regularly meets with parents and patients to keep them informed of the latest news.
This successful collaboration led the WFH to award both organizations the Hemophilia Organization Twins of the Year Award in 2013.
The Twinning Program is supported by exclusive funding from Pfizer.