07 June 2017
On 12 May, the first dedicated haemophilia clinic in Mombasa was officially inaugurated. The clinic, located in Coast Provincial Hospital is just one of the achievements of the NNHF Kenya 3 project team, whose engagement with NNHF began with the first Kenya project in 2012.
Expanding activities to East Kenya
The project team comprises members of the Kenya Haemophilia Association (KHA), and since 2012, their dedication to improving haemophilia care has helped strengthen the clinic in Eldoret, West Kenya, and established a clinic at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi.
It was at the Nairobi clinic’s inauguration in 2015 that the idea of establishing a haemophilia clinic in Mombasa was first proposed. For the inauguration, ten patients and their family members undertook the nine-hour bus journey to Nairobi for screening and medical consultations.
Representatives from KHA, Coast Provincial Hospital, the provincial Ministry of Health, the World Federation of Hemophilia regional manager and NNHF programme manager open the clinic in Mombasa.
With some patients undertaking this journey despite having a bleed or suffering from malaria, it was clear at that time that travelling to Nairobi provided their only hope of receiving adequate care.
The KHA team was struck by the Mombasa group’s determination to improve care in their region, and together with the NNHF developed a plan to expand the Kenya 3 project to establish care in Mombasa. This would not only bring care closer to Mombasa’s patients, but to those living in the East of the country.
Improving expertise and knowledge
The first step was to increase haemophilia expertise in Mombasa by training a nurse and a doctor through NNHF fellowships at the Haemophilia Treatment Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, under the supervision of Prof Johnny Mahlangu. In Mombasa, the KHA team conducted three outreach visits comprising educational sessions for 30 patients and family members and training for 50 healthcare professionals.
With expertise and knowledge in place, the clinic was officially opened on 12 May at an event attended by representatives from KHA, Coast Provincial Hospital, the provincial Ministry of Health, the World Federation of Hemophilia regional manager responsible for supporting treatment, and NNHF.
Betty Mbogho, paediatric nurse, who has been trained through a NNHF fellowship, is explaining to the audience the further follow-up of the patients at the new clinic.
Engaging authorities ensures sustainability
The sustainability of the clinic has been guaranteed by the Ministry of Health, who have committed to support the clinic through staffing and purchase of diagnostic reagents for patients. With the clinic established, NNHF project activities will now seek to further improve care in Mombasa and the region by providing lab facilities and training lab technicians to improve access to diagnosis for patients and thus improve the overall diagnosis rate – which has increased from 4% to 15% since NNHF engagement in Kenya began in 2012. In addition, more healthcare professionals will be trained and outreach visits to the surrounding areas will be undertaken to identify and educate more patients.
Patients and families, representatives from KHA and NNHF programme manager Shady Sedhom are celebrating the inauguration of the clinic in Mombasa.
The activities undertaken in just two years mean patients in Mombasa no longer need to undertake nine-hour journeys to receive care. In 2015, John – the father of 21-month old Alvin Muta – told NNHF, “My biggest wish is that we can receive care closer home, so that we don’t have to travel to Nairobi.” The efforts of the KHA project team have made that wish come true.