New Malta twinning project launched

Written by Sam Wilson, December 14, 2023

We’re excited to announce a twinning project with the Malta Bleeding Disorders Society which will strengthen the bonds between our organisations and give us an opportunity to share expertise.

The partnership has been formally recognised and approved by the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) which will support the project for four years.

There are about 100 people living with a genetic bleeding disorder in Malta and many do not have access to the most up-to-date treatment and care. Some treatment for haemophilia still uses plasma-derived products, for example, and the new drug Hemlibra (Emicizumab) is not yet available.

We hope our expertise from the UK will help our colleagues in Malta advocate for better treatment and we can also offer support on governance. The Malta Bleeding Disorders Society (MBDS) was formed in March 2019, so is a relatively new organisation.

Kate Burt, our Chief Executive, Clive Smith, Chair, and Jeff Courtney, Policy and Public Affairs Manager, visited Malta in the summer to meet clinicians and MBDS and WFH representatives. They also visited Malta’s only haemophilia centre which is based in its capital, Valletta.

Kate said: ‘We really enjoyed meeting colleagues and clinicians in Malta and look forward to working on joint projects over the next four years. There is a great disparity between the treatment options available to people with a bleeding disorder in the UK and in Malta and I hope we can support MBDS in addressing this. We will also learn a great deal from the experiences of people in Malta.’

As well as support with advocacy we also hope to welcome some children from Malta to our Youth Camp in 2024. MBDS plans to organise its own Youth Camp the following year and is keen to see how our popular event works.

James Gauci, President of MBDS, said: ‘We are very excited about this opportunity. It should allow us to strengthen our delivery, capacity and resilience in order to advocate for better access to care, and a better service for our members. This project also aims to share and facilitate the knowledge, experience and expertise of the Haemophilia Society with the MBDS, while serving as an opportunity for THS to evaluate and reflect on its strategic objectives.’

Coming up: We’ll be announcing a fundraising project taking place in Malta soon.