In their own words: WFH eLearning helps immigrant patient

Paula James, MD, Megan Chaigneau, RN and Lisa Thibeault, RN, are healthcare professionals serving the Canadian bleeding disorders community. Many patients come through the doors of their clinic—the Inherited Bleeding Disorders Clinic of Southeastern Ontario—and both believe that reliable access to treatment information has a tremendous impact on the health and well-being of patients.

In Canada, anyone living with a bleeding disorder can readily access a wealth of information and educational materials in Canada’s two official languages, English and French. However, when James, Chaigneau and Thibeault began working on the referral of a recent Afghani immigrant, it really became evident how important it is for patients to have access to information in their native language. Thibeault notes while the patient’s spoken English was good, he faced challenges reading medical terminology. She reached out to James who put her in touch with the WFH to obtain educational materials in the patient’s native language of Farsi. Fiona Robinson, WFH Educational Materials manager, was quickly able to refer them to the five WFH materials available on the WFH eLearning Platform in Farsi, translated into that language thanks to the efforts of volunteers in Iran. The Farsi content exists because any WFH resource can be translated by volunteers—as long as they formally request permission from the WFH and agree to have those translations made available to the greater community. The Afghani patient was amazed to receive information about bleeding disorders in his own language.

Paula James, MD

“Being able to provide him with information in Farsi really helped him understand his condition. He had not had access to specialized care ever before in his life.”

Thibeault continually uses WFH resources in a variety of situations. She uses the Hemophilia Treatment Center Directory to help patients when they travel, shares resources with parents of newly diagnosed patients, and uses the WFH eLearning Platform as her “go to” source for information.

All these dedicated healthcare professionals believe the path to better outcomes and improved quality of life is through better communication and education. WFH supporters are the ones who make it possible for us to provide quality resources to patients all around the world in a wide variety of languages. The WFH eLearning Platform seeks to meet the educational needs of our community. In 2018 alone, we delivered over 1,188,800 print and electronic resources, including many official WFH translations in Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Portuguese, and Japanese. We are also proud to have added 38 resources translated into 18 local languages in 2018, thanks to the help of our National Member Organizations. You can view all of the above resources on the WFH eLearning Platform here.

Would you like to help ensure that patients have access to vital information about bleeding disorders in their native language, regardless of where they live? Please support our work with a one-time or monthly donation or by becoming a WFH member today. Want to help more patients access resources in their native language?

The WFH encourages the translation of its publications for educational purposes by not-for-profit hemophilia organizations. Any organization, including national member organizations (NMO) and treatment centres, must request permission from the WFH in writing before they undertake any such project. If you meet the above criteria and are interested in translating a WFH resource, please complete the request form here: – requests-to-reproduce.