The Twins of the Year Awards are presented annually by the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) to recognize the most exceptional organization and treatment centre twinning partnerships. The Twinning Program, sponsored by Pfizer, pairs hemophilia organizations or medical centres in emerging and established countries to encourage the transfer of skills, resources, and information. The WFH now supports a total of 33 active twinning partnerships covering 42 different countries worldwide.
The Treatment Centre Twins of the Year Award for 2008 was won by the Penn Comprehensive Hemophilia and Thrombosis Program and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, U.S.A., and Princess Marina Hospital Hemophilia Treatment Centre, Gaborone, Botswana.
With the help of its twin in Philadelphia, the Gaborone treatment centre held a national medical symposium where 40 medical professionals were trained. The twins performed outreach activities for the identification of new patients in rural areas and organized a media campaign and city-wide march on World Hemophilia Day (April 17) to promote improved treatment and care.
Other achievements included training on the management of inhibitors and the strengthening of relations with Botswana’s Ministry of Health. The twinning also supported the role of patients in the leadership transition of the national patient society.
The Organization Twins of the Year Award 2008 went to the South African HemophiliaFoundation and the Canadian Hemophilia Society.
These twins initiated outreach to rural areas and to patients with inhibitors. The two associations continued the development of patient support groups in South Africa, along with lobbying and advocacy strategies. Training was provided on establishing relations with pharmaceutical organizations, and links were developed between the twins’ youth groups. The links included a fellowship for a young South African with hemophilia to attend a youth camp in Toronto.
The Organization Twins of the Year Award 2009 was won by the Hemophilia Association of Peru and the Galician Association of Hemophilia (Spain).
Galicia helped Peru reinforce the country’s patient network and provided leadership training for new a board of directors. The twins also worked together to strengthen relations with Peru’s local and national authorities. Another major project was the development of a strategy for a national patient registry along with enhanced diagnosis and outreach to patients and medical community.
Two sets of Treatment Centre Twin Awards 2009 were awarded.
The Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital, Colombo, Sri Lanka, and the Christian Medical College,Vellore, India.
Vellore helped Colombo with training for a hematologist, two laboratory technologists, one nurse, one physiotherapist, and one molecular biologist. The twins organized a national multidisciplinary symposium and specialized workshops in Sri Lanka. More than 280 doctors, laboratory technologists, nurses, and physiotherapists learned about comprehensive hemophilia care at the two-day meeting.
Other achievements of the Colombo-Vellore twinning included the creation of a national hemophilia registry, the completion of 14 hemophilia procedures, and the establishment of a pediatric gymnasium. As a result of the twins’ efforts, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health is now more supportive of improved hemophilia care and helped set up the patient registry.
The Republican Functional Hemophilia Treatment Centres for Adults and Children, Chisinau, Moldova, and the Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, Warsaw, Poland.
The Chisinau- Warsaw twinning saw a significant milestone in Moldova, notably the first purchase of factor concentrates by the government. Efforts to improve hemophilia treatment also involved the training of two hematologists, and a physiotherapy workshop for 30 health professionals. Following laboratory specialist training, the national hemophilia registry was updated with 60 new patients. In addition to medical training and diagnosis, treatment centre managers and a Ministry of Health representative were trained in the management and coordination of comprehensive care.