1st NNHF Leadership Training: Young African haemophilia leaders draw a healthier future

An empowered leader is not only ready to ignite change but also to identify and inspire future leaders, who will ensure a sustainable future and continuous impact creation.

In April, NNHF partners and selected young members of the African haemophilia community from Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia met in Cairo to take part in the NNHF Leadership Training workshop. The one-week programme aimed to provide specific competencies and skills useful to leaders to drive change and inspire the next generation of leaders. The topics covered ranged from strategic planning, to advocacy, strategic media engagement and communication among others.

Having worked for 13 years with a great number of committed partners from the African continent, the NNHF designed and delivered the programme to support partners and their organisations in addressing current needs, as well as to build a strong African network.

Amongst the participants, Dr Kibet from Kenya crossed the path of the NNHF back in 2010 when he benefitted from a NNHF fellowship at the Johannesburg Academic Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa. After he returned from South Africa, the haemophilia community elected him to lead the Kenya Haemophilia Association (KHA). Eight years later he is now leading the NNHF Kenya 4 project together with the KHA. He joined the NNHF Leadership training together with two members of the patient organisation who have been active for many years in improving haemophilia care in the country.

At the same table: Chilufya Pikiti. He arrived in Cairo after two intensive weeks during which he had been working day and night to renovate the first haemophilia clinic in Lusaka, which was inaugurated on World Haemophilia Day. The project he is leading is the first NNHF project in Zambia and started in the second half of 2017.

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“All (haemophilia) leaders in Africa should take part in this training! It has been a great opportunity for us to build an African haemophilia network, exchange on better practices and learn from each other’s’ experience. The training was highly educative and provided a good mix of theoretical and practical workshops,” said Dr Kibet.  

The participants had indeed the opportunity to broaden their competences and working in groups they put the newly acquired concepts into practice thanks to the various interactive workshops. They went from analysing their country situation and ways to address current needs, to mapping their key stakeholders, to developing strategies to advocate for better access to care and engage with media effectively.

“This training bridges the gaps that we had to organise our society. I will now be able to apply the information and skills learnt to the foundation and to my daily work,” stated Firaoli Ayele from Ethiopia.

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Following the training, to-date two countries have delivered Leadership Training to share the acquired knowledge further with their community, while the rest of the participants are planning training to take place by the end of 2018 and in 2019.

NNHF general manager Denise Brændgård found this first NNHF Leadership Training energising for all the parties: “The contagious passion and productive discussions between all the participants has been highly energising for all of us. The participants are now planning to share their newly acquired competencies with their community, as they continue working towards improving access to care for people with haemophilia in Africa.”

HTLgroup