Impacting haemophilia and sickle cell disease in Northern Province
“My name is Dr Satchmo Shyamayanda, a paediatrician and department head responsible for children’s health at Kasama General Hospital. I am proud to be leading the campaign to increase awareness, mentorship, screening, diagnosis and treatment of both haemophilia and sickle cell disease in Northern Province. In the past year we were able to establish our new haemophilia and sickle cell clinic, and increase access to specialist care.
“The opening of the new clinic at our hospital could not have been more timely. Just one month after launch, a man was rushed into casualty with severe bleeding from injuries. There was no blood available for a transfusion but fortunately we were able to identify him as a haemophilia patient and infuse him rapidly with treatment to prevent serious consequences.
“Our focus in 2022 will be to find ways to ensure a sustainable supply of haemophilia treatment at the clinic and increase access to patient-tailored physiotherapy. We will also strengthen the lab to start performing clotting profiles for people with haemophilia and electrophoresis for people with sickle cell disease.”
Zambia 2021 highlights
The project led by Chilufya Pikiti, founding member of the Haemophilia Foundation of Zambia and the father of two boys with sickle cell disease, initially set out to improve grassroots awareness, diagnosis and care of haemophilia in the provinces. The team has since broadened its focus to increase impact by including sickle cell disease:
- New clinic opened for blood disorders care and treatment in Kasama, capital of Northern Province.
- 200 community health assistants and 100 male circumcision providers trained in six regions: Choma, Ndola, Chinsali, Mansa, Kapiri and Kasama.
- Haemophilia training camps held for 47 people with haemophilia and caregivers in Lusaka and the Southern region.
- Installation of haemophilia diagnosis equipment at the Chinsali clinic.