As a federation, the WFH exists to support and guide NMO development through training, funding, the promotion of organizational capacity development, and the sharing of best practices. The needs and objectives of our member organizations are diverse and complex, and we are constantly working to remain flexible to meet those needs. Every new associate NMO or NMO joining the WFH has an opportunity to increase the reach of WFH support.
Vandy Jayah, is a nurse and the president of the SMHF. He spearheaded the creation of the organization after witnessing the suffering of a person with hemophilia. “I saw [the patient] bleeding unstoppably and I didn’t understand why it wouldn’t stop. After seeing [this], I was able to better understand the complications and the difficulties that bleeding disorder patients go through when they don’t receive proper medical care.”
The Gambia is a small west African country where diagnosis—and medical treatment for people with inherited bleeding disorders—is very limited. The Edward Francis Small Hospital located in the city of Banjul is the only hospital in the country that provides medical care for bleeding disorders, and only a few healthcare professionals (HCPs) there have received formal training in the management of bleeding disorders. Currently, the country relies entirely on WFH donations via the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program.
Jayah says that life is very challenging for people with hemophilia in The Gambia. There aren’t enough treatment products for every patient, and many patients live in remote areas. He recalls that one patient recently died because they couldn’t get to the hospital in time to get treatment.
The Safe Motherhood and Hemophilia Foundation The Gambia was established in 2019. Today, the organization has over 30 members, including 16 people with bleeding disorders and family members. Regarding the reason for the SMHF pursuing Associate NMO membership, Jayah explains: “We want to be part of the WFH because we want to improve the quality of life of all patients with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders in The Gambia, with the support of the WFH and the government of The Gambia.”
The WFH is delighted to welcome the SMHF as a member organization. We look forward to collaborating with them to improve the lives of people with bleeding disorders in The Gambia.