Project visit: A glimpse into the progress of haemophilia care in Tanzania
Llyord Mwaniki, NNHF’s project coordinator for English-speaking African countries had the priviledge to visit the Muhimbili National Hospital and Haemophilia Society of Tanzania in Dar Es Salaam.
The haemophilia clinic, renovated through the support of NNHF and Novo Nordisk Foundation, boosts of outstanding facilities, including a well-equipped physiotherapy clinic, a well-stocked pharmacy for haemophilia medication, and comprehensive medical services for haemophilia patients. The success of the project at the hospital is further amplified by the dedication and expertise of a great team comprising doctors experienced in haematological disorders, nurses, physiotherapists, and administrative staff. The leadership provided by Dr John Rwegasha and Dr Stella Rwezaura, the project leads in Tanzania, to advance haemophilia care at Muhimbili National Hospital and across the country is inspiring.
What makes this project particularly exciting is the transformation in the narratives surrounding haemophilia. In the past, families often attributed the condition to witchcraft or mysterious ailments, fostering misconceptions and stigmatisation. However, the stories emerging from the clinic now tell of life-changing interventions and a newfound awareness. People with haemophilia that once faced stigma and low self-esteem are now strong advocates and engage through the society to raise awareness in the community and bring hope to many.
Through the project ‘Expanding Access to Haemophilia Care in East Africa’ that brings together Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, the team will build on these successes to reach more people with haemophilia by establishing at least 15 care centres across Tanzania, training healthcare professionals and enhancing awareness and advocacy outcomes. Across the four countries, we aim to reach at least 700 new people living with haemophilia. The two-year project is in its fourth month of implementation.