Posted on November 01, 2017

In partnership with Friends of Haemophilia Society, Pfizer launched ‘HemoHeroes’ today in Qatar, a first-of its-kind haemophilia gaming application for young male children aged 4 years old and above. The game provides an interactive digital environment that aims to enhance the quality of life of young patients about the everyday challenges of living with haemophilia. By offering improved understanding through education entertainment, the game encourages young patients to become more aware of their condition and how it can be optimally managed so they can live life to the fullest.

Haemophilia is a bleeding disorder, which impacts male children, where sufferers can bleed for a longer period of time as their blood does not have enough clotting factor eight or clotting factor nine. Clotting factor is key as it is a protein in blood that controls bleeding. As such, bleeding commonly occur in joints, especially knees, ankles and elbows, and into tissues and muscles. Whilst haemophilia is quite rare, about 1 in 10,000[1] people (the symptoms of the disease predominately only impact males) worldwide are born with it according to the World Haemophilia Federation, and Qatar is no exception.

Children with haemophilia often face additional stress than their peers, such as distress and confusion about their medical condition, activity restrictions, strict dietary requirements and demanding treatment regimens that can be hard for them to understand and self-manage.

Commenting on the need for child-friendly education around haemophilia management, Dr. Ahmed Abdelbari from Friends of Haemophilia Society said: “It is often hard for children to grasp their reality and understand what Haemophilia is and how best to cope with it. Awareness information is often too technical and sometimes even scary for them. ‘HemoHeroes’ is a much welcome platform, and we are confident it will improve Haemophilia awareness and management for our young patients thanks to the game’s fun, positive and engaging delivery¹.”

Pfizer and Friends of Haemophilia 2 [qatarisbooming.com].jpg

Speaking about the launch, Mohamed Fawzy, Gulf Cluster Lead, Pfizer said: “We are excited to be launching ‘HemoHeroes’ in the Middle East. The game is specifically designed to resonate with little ones, helping many young male patients and their families really understand the merit of a healthy lifestyle and the importance of treatment compliance. With this app, we continue to put patients at the forefront of everything we do, and supporting patients in understanding their condition; key aspect of our patient centric approach.”

Within the game, children will explore the world and challenges of a haemophilia patient through a character or ‘hero’. In order to better understand how to protect themselves, they will need to support their hero throughout the game, as they journey between rooms of a cartoon house and encounter different everyday scenarios, masked as fun ‘challenges’. These include cooking, exercising, bathing and bedtime. The user is prompted to consider certain aspects of their lifestyle, such as healthy eating, oral hygiene and physical activities during the challenges, as well as haemophilia-specific situations, including household hazards, appropriate exercise and protective equipment.

The aim of the game is for the user to protect their hero throughout the various daily scenarios and complete each challenge by interacting appropriately with the environment, making healthy choices, and ensuring their hero takes his or her prophylactic medication regularly to avoid bleeding.

 

[1]  World Federation or Hemophilia. About Bleeding Disorders. https://www.wfh.org/en/page.aspx?pid=646

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