08 December 2017
In 2013, people with haemophilia living in Shandong province received care at the Shandong Centre of Haemophilia Diagnosis and Treatment. This meant that some people in the province had to travel for more than 12 hours to receive care.
The China 4 project team, led by Prof Zhang Xinsheng therefore set out to strengthen care in five centres across the province. The locations selected were Tai’an, Heze, Weifang, Linyi and Yantai, which represented both urban areas along the eastern coast and inland rural areas.
To ensure these centres could deliver quality care, 359 healthcare professionals were trained in topics such as diagnosis, comprehensive care, nursing, orthopaedic work, physiotherapy and psychological care. Parts of this training were delivered by experts who travelled from across China to impart their knowledge.
With this improved infrastructure in place, the project team worked on reaching out to people with haemophilia in each city, delivering educational sessions that would provide the tools and knowledge to manage their condition in day-to-day life. 320 people with haemophilia and family members attended these sessions, which were supported by Q&A booklets written in an accessible style suited to the haemophilia community.
World Haemophilia Day activities in 2015 and 2016 further increased involvement levels of the patient association in the five cities. In 2015, low-income families were given free health consultations, whilst the 2016 event attracted the attention of national media. Additionally, the Family Health Journal – with a readership of 100,000 – published an interview with Prof Zhang Xinsheng, supporting efforts to raise awareness of haemophilia across a wider audience. In the three years since the project began, these activities together with improved diagnosis capabilities have contributed to improving the diagnosis rate by 30%, with 519 new patients registered.
As the project came to a close, in March 2017, directors from the five centres came together to share their progress and experiences. Each city level haemophilia centre is now able to offer comprehensive care through a skilled team of haematologists, paediatricians, nurses, laboratory technicians, physical therapists and dentists, and all are working closely with the local blood centre, patient association and local health authorities.
Find out more about the project in this short film.