Twins of the Year 2010 – Working together for Treatment for All

The 2010 Twins of the Year winners highlight the strength of the twinning partnerships at every stage of the program and the enthusiasm of the new twins coupled with the experience of the mature twins.

Hemophilia organization winners the Tunisian Hemophilia Association and the Québec chapter of the Canadian Hemophilia Society, who were in the final year of their partnership, ended their successful twinning on a high note. Two sets of twins who are both in their first year of twinning, which is an especially notable achievement, shared the 2010 award for treatment centres: Delhi (India)—Winnipeg (Canada) and Yaoundé (Cameroon)—Geneva (Switzerland). The 2010 winners highlight the spirit of twinning and the wide scope of the program, with recipients spread across four continents.

“[Our] selection as Twins of the Year for 2010 is a truly wonderful and unexpected surprise,” said Dr. Jayson Stoffman, codirector of the Manitoba Pediatric Bleeding Disorders Program in Winnipeg. “It certainly sets a high benchmark for the remaining years of our partnership, and I know we will continue to work very hard to accomplish our goals.”

In 2010 the Delhi (India) and Winnipeg (Canada) Twinning organized city-wide training workshops for 29 nurses and 50 physicians, an educational workshop for 100 patients and their family members, and training for their lab technician about theoretical aspects of laboratory coagulation. The Winnipeg team also provided numerous educational materials and offered physiotherapy support.

Also in its first year, the twinning between Yaoundé (Cameroon) and Geneva (Switzerland) had an equally impressive start. As Dr. Dora Mbanya, head of hematology and transfusion at the University of Yaoundé explains, “When Prof. de Moerloose first visited us from Geneva, he enthusiastically encouraged us to move forward, though conditions for hemophilia care were far from optimal. Through the Twinning Program, patients in Yaoundé have enjoyed increased attention and medical care in so many ways; this has been both psychologically and physically uplifting for them.”

Among their achievements in 2010, the twins secured a donation of a coagulometer and reagents from Stago, and organized an outreach activity in the central and western regions of the country, which included the training of 26 medical professionals and screening of 20 people suspected to have hemophilia. In addition, they organized a media campaign to raise awareness about bleeding disorders, and they collaborated with the national member organization (NMO) in Cameroon to provide consultations for patients. They also received a commitment from the University of Geneva for a one-year fellowship of a hematologist from Yaoundé, which they are eager to take advantage of in the year to come.

Although the Hemophilia Organization Twinning between the Tunisian Hemophilia Association and the Québec chapter of the Canadian Hemophilia Society has now come to a close, their hard work in 2010 has left the Tunisian Hemophilia Association ready to face future challenges on their own, though their friends in Québec have assured them that they will remain an important part of their support system in the years to come. Their notable achievements included the development of a strategic plan for the Tunisian Association, the training of board members on good governance and volunteer skills, the development of written roles and responsibilities for board member positions, the provision of psychosocial support for families, the organization of a family weekend and workshop for parents, and a home care workshop for patients.

Every year the WFH’s Twinning Committee faces the difficult task of selecting the Twins of the Year from an impressive pool of candidates. The Twins of the Year are chosen based on their level of commitment to the partnership, strong communication and teamwork, achievement of objectives set for the year, and level of complexity of the activities accomplished.

The 2010 Twins of the Year are shining examples of what can be achieved when members of the global bleeding disorders community work together to improve treatment and care in emerging countries. The WFH congratulates all twins who are participants in the program for their hard work and impressive results. Twinning continues to be an excellent tool to help achieve our vision of Treatment for All, and we look forward to celebrating Twinning achievements in the years to come.

Twins of the Year for 2010 and 2011 will be recognized at the WFH World Congress 2012 at the WFH Awards Ceremony next July in Paris, France.

The Twinning Program is supported by exclusive funding from Pfizer.