WFH supports capacity-building initiative in southeast Asia

Patient organization leaders gathered during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Hemophilia Network Workshop in May, taking part in trainings to help improve hemophilia care within their region. Taking place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, this workshop included 16 participants representing 8 WFH national member organizations (NMO).

The Cambodia Hemophilia Association hosted this training, and His Excellency, Professor Thyr Kruy, Secretary of State of the Cambodian Ministry of Health, also attended the opening of the workshop. In his welcome remarks, Professor Kruy acknowledged the work of the Cambodian Hemophilia Association and the support of the WFH in helping improve access to treatment and care for people with hemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders in Cambodia. He also stressed the need for the creation of additional hemophilia treatment centres and the establishment of the National Comprehensive Care program.

Most of the workshop’s participants had had the opportunity to meet previously during the other regional workshops, held in Malaysia in 2015 and in Thailand in 2016. This workshop’s program was tailored to the needs of the WFH NMOs in the region. According to Melvin Tan from Singapore, the workshop gave them, “The tools to implement policies and new ideas.” Taqrir Akramin Khalib from the Hemophilia Society of Malaysia remarked that the session on managing pharmaceutical relations covered the need for clear policies and offered realistic solutions.

The discussion, presentations, and group work focused on many important topics, including: good governance, leadership, succession planning, recruiting and maintaining volunteers, managing pharmaceutical relations, and other relevant issues. The participants particularly appreciated that they were given the opportunity to share their experiences on all workshop topics. In addition, the WFH facilitated a group discussion about the needs and priorities of the hemophilia community within the ASEAN region.