Thalassemia is a major cause of severe anemia and is more prevalent in the Southeast Asian population. In northern Laos, where poverty, poor infrastructure and geographic barriers to care exist, mortality rates for thalassemia are the highest in the region.
Where We Started
The Lao Friends Hospital for Children created a thalassemia clinic to provide regular blood transfusions and health maintenance for patients affected by this disease. As the clinic has grown and children are anticipated to live longer, the clinic has experienced issues with retention, compliance and advanced care planning.
Boston Children’s Pediatric Global Health Fellow Neeru Narla, MD, MPH, worked with the clinic to help refine its logistics and flow, provide patient counseling and education, perform splenectomy planning and work with local Lao providers to support the care of pediatric patients and their transition into adolescence and adulthood.
You Can Make a Difference
With your support, we can help low- and middle-income countries better manage chronic disease and successfully transition pediatric patients, who are now living longer, to better access to adult care.