The World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) 2020 Annual Meeting of the General Assembly was held on October 16, and saw the election of a new President and board members. Soon after the General Assembly, Cesar Garrido, the new President of the WFH, recommended that two new members be co-opted to the board. A vote was held and Latifa Lamhene from Algeria and Baiba Ziemele from Latvia were voted in to the WFH Board of Directors.
Lamhene and Ziemele were recommended by Garrido in order to broaden the representation of the board to more regions, add members with experiences with other bleeding disorders conditions—specifically von Willebrand disease (VWD) and inherited bleeding disorders conditions in women—and make the board more diverse in terms of gender representation.
Latifa Lamhene is President of the Association Nationale des Hémophiles Algériens, the Algerian national member organization (NMO). She has been an advocate for bleeding disorders in her country for years, and one of her major achievements was to playing an active role in convincing the Algerian ministry of health (MOH) to sign a Global Alliance for Progress (GAP) Program agreement with the WFH. She has also been involved in many other WFH activities such as Global National Member Organization Training (GNMOT). Lamhene has also helped advance hemophilia care in Mali through a Twinning Program partnership with the Mali Hemophilia Association.
Baiba Ziemele is a passionate advocate for the bleeding disorders community in Latvia and beyond. She has been involved with her country’s NMO—the Latvia Hemophilia Society—since its first day in 1993. In 2009, Ziemele became President of the Latvia Hemophilia Society, and in 2016 she became President of the Latvian Alliance for Rare Diseases. She has been a very active member of the WFH and of the European Haemophilia Consortium (EHC), and has been a member of the VWD working groups of both organizations. Ziemele brings the patient voice from the bleeding disorders community as a European Patient Advocacy Group (ePAG) for EuroBloodNet, the European Reference Network. She is also a member of the WFH Women with Inherited Bleeding disorders Committee.
There is a possibility that a third board member will be co-opted in November 2020.