Gaining expertise to expand care in Western Georgia

“I’m Dr Gurtchumelia Darejani from Kutaisi, the only paediatric haematologist in my region. I’ve been working in haemophilia for 10 years. The lack of facilities and medical experts in remote regions of Georgia like ours means that people, sometimes with disabilities from their disease, must travel hundreds of kilometres to obtain a diagnosis or receive care.”

Dr Gurtchumelia Darejani (at the back) observes Dr Sonata Trakymiene as she examines the joints of a young boy with haemophilia.

“Thanks to this project, I was able to deepen my knowledge of bleeding disorders management in order to decentralise care from the capital Tbilisi. Three of us — myself, a nurse and a physiotherapist — travelled to Lithuania for training at the haemophilia centre headed by Dr Sonata Trakymiene at University Hospital Santaros Klinikos in Vilnius. During the training we became more familiar with the treatments administered in daily practice along with laboratory tests used to diagnose haemophilia. We are now able to manage patients locally in Kutaisi according to high quality standards.

Our next step will be to share the knowledge from the Lithuanian team with other healthcare professionals from Zugdidi and Batumi in order to further decentralise care in Georgia. Now that we have established a relationship with the centre in Vilnius, we will be able to reach out for follow-up questions or to organise further professional exchanges in future. We are also looking forward to exchanging knowledge with the members of the Lithuanian patient organisation. They will support the Georgian Youth group in successfully organising activities that will benefit our haemophilia community.”

Dr Gurtchumelia Darejani (back, second from left), along with nurse Nana Javakhadze (first from left), receive training on joints assessment for a boy living with haemophilia from Dr Trakymiene’s team.

Georgia 2021 highlights

In partnership with the Georgian Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis in Tbilisi, the second project supported by the NNHF in Georgia has initiated training to expand care in the western part of the country.

  • Diagnosis and care now available in Kutaisi.
  • In-depth training completed for 3 healthcare professionals (haematologist, nurse and physiotherapist) from Kutaisi in Vilnius, Lithuania.
  • Georgian and Lithuanian patient organisations to make contact as a next step.

Back to the Year in review 2021