Till date, 1,748 Haemophilia patients have been identified in Bangladesh. However, to go by the prevalence rate, there could be 11,000 haemophilia patients and people with other inherited bleeding disorders in the country. At this moment, many families have to travel with their affected child/ adult patients for many hours with painful and disabling acute bleeding to access care in the centre of nearby cities (Dhaka or Chittagong). The government is yet to purchase clotting factor concentrate for such patients in the country. Offering adequate treatment and care to patients will help the patients and their families.
In order to make a profound difference in the lives of people with haemophilia in Bangladesh, the government can consider enhancing an outreach programmes and improvement of laboratory diagnostic capacities. These are necessary to ensure that patients are identified and accurately diagnosed. Allocation of budget to purchase clotting factor concentrates (CFCs) is another area of utmost importance. CFCs are safe and efficacious and are included on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) List of Essential Medicines. Presently, the replacement therapies of clotting factor concentrates are available for Bangladeshi patients through the WFH humanitarian aid donations. Raising public awareness and educate people about haemophilia is another area of intervention, which can be very successfully implemented in collaboration with the patient associations. Government should consider incorporating a specific haemophilia care policy in the national health policy of Bangladesh. Given the unique needs of patients with rare bleeding disorders, codifying their care in national policy can help ensure equal and appropriate care across the country. Haemophilia can be optimally managed only in specialized haemophilia treatment centres, which represents well-established standards in many countries of the world. Developing a national haemophilia programme and national treatment guidelines/protocols can be a good strategy to help country to improve haemophilia care. WFH will collaborate with all the stockholders, treaters, patient organization, WHO and government to improve haemophilia care in Bangladesh to achieve its goal for ‘Treatment for All’.
Correspondence: Mr. Sachi Satapathy, WFH Regional Manager, South Asia and East Asia, Montreal, Canada. Email: [email protected].