Kenya-Tanzania joint project launch: Building together for better diagnosis and treatment

People living with haematological disorders in Kenya and Tanzania are set to benefit from a new joint NNHF project designed to better tackle haemophilia and sickle cell disease through capacity building, advocacy and awareness creation.

The official launch of the joint project took place on 18 November 2020 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in the presence of officials from the Ministry of Health, the project partners and different stakeholders including people living with blood disorders. Novo Nordisk Haemophilia Foundation (NNHF) representatives were among the participants who attended the event virtually due to the current pandemic travel restrictions. The official launch in Kenya is planned for later this month.

With a focus on haemophilia, the joint project will leverage resources to also benefit people with sickle cell disease. The aim is to build capacity for diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders by establishing 16 centres in local hospitals and make basic care available across all counties and regions of Kenya and Tanzania. By providing specialised training to increase the diagnosis rate and enable the creation of national blood disorder registries, the joint project also aims to unite and strengthen the bleeding disorders community, raise awareness and anchor access to care within the national healthcare systems.

The project is made possible thanks to a grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF). The foundation’s overall objective is to support scientific, humanitarian and social causes and the foundation has a specific focus on prevention and care for non-communicable diseases. Overall coordination and operational implementation are provided by NNHF in cooperation with the project partners to ensure optimal inclusion and involvement of all relevant local stakeholders. 

Project partners include Dr Stella Rwezaula, haematologist for Muhimbili National Hospital, Richard Minja, chairperson of the Tanzania Haemophilia Association, and Dr Kibet Shikuku, a haematologist at Kenyatta National Hospital and NNHF project partner through the Kenya Haemophilia Association.

“We are proud to be taking these additional steps towards improving the lives of many people who live with blood disorders. I am confident that this project will be highly beneficial in tackling these diseases and hopeful that our shared experience in Kenya and Tanzania will inspire other countries to follow the same path,” commented Dr Kibet Shikuku at the end of the ceremony.

The three-year Kenya-Tanzania joint project will build on synergies to consolidate progress and standardise care for people living with haemophilia and sickle cell disease in the two countries.