The World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) Africa Summit 2019 on hemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders is currently taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa. Key stakeholders in the African community are coming together at this important event, including patients, physicians, government officials, and national member association (NMO) members. The Summit is looking at the current state of the bleeding disorders community in Africa, with the goal of sharing learnings, building connections, and developing a realistic action plan for moving forward.
The WFH talked with three WFH Africa Summit 2019 participants to learn about their experiences at the summit and how they hope the event will impact the bleeding disorders community.
André Loua – Technical Officer (Blood Safety), World Health Organization (WHO) regional office (Africa)
André Loua feels that more collaboration is needed between institutions in order to find a way to better integrate support for all diseases, including bleeding disorders. In Rwanda, the WHO has been involved with endeavours where many partners worked together to help with non-communicable diseases, and he feels that the WFH could benefit from a similar approach.
He feels that it’s important for the WFH to get all the necessary demographic statistics for African countries in order to best understand the region and serve its needs. While the WHO has no bleeding disorder-specific endeavours, he feels that the bleeding disorders field would fit well in the WHO’s non-communicable diseases focus area. The WHO has a planform that André Loua feels the WFH could leverage to support the many action items that will come out of the WFH Africa Summit 2019.
Saliou Diop, MD – WFH Medical board member, Regional advisor, Africa
Saliou Diop feels that the WFH Africa Summit 2019 is important because all key stakeholders are there to share experiences and lessons learned, and discuss what can be done in the region. Although all countries are from the same continent, the level of experience and engagement are not the same. Saliou Diop says that from 2015 to now, there has been a big improvement in the level of care in Africa, and the first WFH Africa Summit was a big part of that.
Saliou Diop is excited to learn about what the best outcomes were from the different countries implementing the declarations made in the first WFH Africa Summit. He feels that we need to learn about what worked and what didn’t, and adjust our approach accordingly. He also feels that we need to do even better in places where change has happened, and we need to work to improve the situation in countries that have not made as much progress.
Abdoulaye Loum – President of the Senegalese Hemophilia Association
Abdoulaye Loum is President of the Senegalese Hemophilia Association. When asked what issue is most important to him from the Senegalese perspective, his first thought is “diagnosis”. He explains that Senegal has only 250 diagnosed patients, when they should have close to 1,500. The WFH has helped the country with diagnosis, but the government needs to get more involved.
He feels that the WFH Africa Summit is important because it’s a unique opportunity to exchange feedback with different people from different backgrounds, and learn about what is being done in different countries. He says that he is already learning about different processes that organizations can follow in order to meet their objectives.
Abdoulaye Loum feels that an action plan needs to come out of the Summit. All stakeholders need to get involved so that all nations can reach the objectives that will be agreed upon. He thinks that all participants need to listen to what everyone is doing and bring that information home in order to improve care. He also believes that it’s critical that we all work together to reach the continent’s shared objectives.
Check back in the coming days on Hemophilia World Online in order to learn more about the WFH Africa Summit 2019. To find out more about the WFH Africa Summit 2017, please click here.