Making progress towards multidisciplinary care in Bolivia
Cochabamba is located in the Valle region of central Bolivia, a country with a comparatively low diagnosis rate for haemophilia: only 13%. That may soon improve thanks to the team from the Asociación Cochabambina de Hemofilia working on the second project supported by the Novo Nordisk Haemophilia Foundation (NNHF) in Bolivia. The project aims to build capacity through training and then cascade that knowledge throughout the region to the rest of Bolivia – and beyond its borders to Peru, Paraguay and Ecuador. To date, several milestones have been achieved towards increasing awareness and developing a multidisciplinary care team.
In April, training sessions for three laboratory technicians from Cochabamba and La Paz, and 60 nurses from Cochabamba were carried out by visiting experts Marión Echenagucía from Venezuela and Luz Villalaz from Panama. The laboratory training allowed the main reference centres in La Paz and Cochabamba perform for the first-time inhibitor tests. This was followed in July by a patient camp offering self-infusion training to more than 60 people with haemophilia and family members.
“I had no previous experience of self-infusion, and the training truly helped me gain confidence. It was nice to see children and adults supporting each other in the learning process,” said Marco Antonio Caballero, a 29-year-old living with moderate Haemophilia B.
“It is rewarding to see so many nurses motivated to attend the training, with some travelling up to three hours to participate. Now they will be able to cascade their knowledge and train patients in other cities,” said NNHF project leader Dr Suzana Loayza, commenting on the recent achievements. “For us, this project is very valuable because it allows us not only to screen patients but also to provide them with adequate care and treatment.”
The Bolivia project team will continue impacting care with the upcoming training of second-level health care centres in different cities in the Cochabamba department, followed by training of health professionals abroad in odontology, orthopaedics and physiotherapy.