Letter to WFH Humanitarian Aid recipient countries

Since December 2019, COVID-19 has become an ongoing public health issue which has affected everyone in the world—and the bleeding disorders community has been particularly impacted. The World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) is committed to ensuring that we continue to provide WFH Humanitarian Aid donations during this challenging time, and so are our partners, who have committed to ensuring that product continues to flow to those who need it most.

The following letter was sent to WFH Humanitarian Aid recipient countries informing them of the best way to manage donations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 continues to unfold worldwide, we are closely monitoring the development of this situation and its impact on the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program.

In the past few weeks, the WFH Humanitarian Aid team saw delays with shipments due to flight cancellations and airport closures. We want to make you aware of these new challenges, as there is a strong possibility this will disrupt and cause delays in the delivery of Humanitarian Aid donations to different countries.

As you know “exceptional situations need exceptional measures”. This means that in these exceptional situations, and in order to prevent potential complete stock-outs of treatment products, we ask that you immediately adopt the following emergency measures listed according to priority, in order to preserve stock. Please immediately begin adopting the following measures:

    1. Stop performing all elective surgeries
    2. Stop recruiting any new patients for immune tolerance induction (ITI)
    3. For current patients on ITI:
      1. Change patients on medium dose ITI to low dose ITI (50 IU/kg 3x/week)
      2. Stop ITI for patients who are within 2 months of starting ITI
    4. Stop recruiting any new patients for prophylaxis
    5. Stop prophylaxis for adults (when reaching 150,000 IU of stock)
    6. Stop prophylaxis for children (when reaching 100,000 IU of stock)

It is very important during this exceptional time to ensure you have enough product to treat acute bleeds and life threatening surgeries. You may also consider providing patients with product to treat 1 to 2 acute bleeding episodes in their homes or communities to reduce their visits to hospitals.

We also ask that you continue to cooperate with and respect all compliance and pharmacovigilance measures that the Humanitarian Aid department has put in place. Your close collaboration with your national member organization (NMO) is quite critical here to make sure all these recommendations are completely followed.

Please rest assured that the WFH Humanitarian Aid team is doing everything possible to continue sending donations in these difficult situations. Note that we will keep you informed of any changes as the situation unfolds.

Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to communicate with the WFH directly.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Best regards,
Assad Haffar, MD, MSc
Medical and Humanitarian Aid Director