The Thalassaemia Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Health of Kuwait having received support both from the Ministry and Parliament for the development and implementation of specific actions (listed below), invited TIF to visit the country in order to meet with stakeholders and provide technical expertise on these matters.
Thus a TIF Delegation Team visited Kuwait on 08 – 09 September 2019. The Delegation Team comprised of Mr Abdul Baset Mohd Merdas (TIF Board Member), Ms Maria Hadjidemetriou (Expert Patient, USA), Dr Michael Angastiniotis (TIF Medical Advisor) and Mr Rawad Merhi (TIF Countries & Members Officer).
THALASSAEMIA ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACTION MANDATE
- To establish a National Haemoglobinopathy Reference Centre in accordance to international standards and achieve TIF Certification.
- To acquire a national registry and electronic medical record, thus upgrading the current registry which is not well-maintained.
- To recruit highly qualified personnel for the care of haemoglobinopathies.
- To provide opportunities for continuous life-long education to doctors and nurses working in the field of haemoglobinopathies.
- To upgrade the provided prevention services (which are based on a premarital testing programme), as well as the development of a newborn screening programme for sickle cell disease (which is equally prevalent as thalassaemia).
The Delegation Team had the opportunity to visit medical facilities and the Ministry of Health IT Department to understand the present situation and provide technical expertise for the improvement of the quality of services provided. Indeed, discussions focused on identifying ways to upgrade the services of the medical facilities (especially those caring for adult patients), the development of a national guideline for the clinical management of thalassaemia and the necessity of creating a multi-disciplinary team.
In addition, access to the newly developed TIF Thalassaemia Medical Record was requested. It was explained that the software was currently in the piloting stage and this will be taken forward once the pilot had been completed.
The Delegation met with patients from the Thalassaemia Patients League, a group led by medical professionals, as is the Soroptimist International Club Kuwait – a second thalassaemia group active in Kuwait.