Over the next several months, Alain Baumann will be hosting a series of Questions & Answer sessions with World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) leaders. Today we hear the thoughts and opinions of Cesar Garrido, Lay Member, Venezuela.
How did you get involved with the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH)?
In 1999, I attended training sessions in Madrid and Mucia, Spain, in order to learn how to manage social projects and hemophilia associations. These training sessions were supported by the WFH. Later, I was invited to attend a WFH Executive Committee meeting to better understand the work the WFH was doing. Through this exposure to the WFH, I learned about the good the organization does, and in 2000 I decided to become a volunteer.
What makes you proud to be part of the WFH?
I feel proud to be a board member at an organization that has grown over the years, and whose reputation is growing. When I visit a country as a representative of the WFH, I feel the respect and appreciation the WFH has in that country’s bleeding disorder community.
What do you think is the main impact the WFH had in recent years?
I think that the greatest impact the WFH has had is playing a small but important part in overcoming the enormous tainted blood tragedy that the bleeding disorder community suffered through in the 90s and at the beginning of the 21st century. The WFH was very adept at working with the pharmaceutical industry, health authorities around the world and many governments throughout the crisis.
What is the main impact you hope the WFH will have in the future?
Obviously, Treatment for All would be the greatest impact we could have. Until then, I hope we can continue to help more and more people with bleeding disorders. Also, I hope we can increase the diagnosis of people with bleeding disorders and provide patients with greater access to medical care.
What do you think is one area where the WFH could improve?
I think the WFH could do even more advocacy work with national member organizations (NMOs) so that we can have a greater impact on regional and national authorities.
Next to your involvement with the WFH Board, what is your personal involvement in the bleeding disorders community in your country or region?
I will continue leading a movement that seeks to break with the outdated advocacy model. My challenge is to ensure that all the countries of the Americas know how to best manage new advocacy strategies. I also want to make sure that those countries have strategic plans and annual action plans in place that will help them influence public policies.
If you had $1 million to donate to the bleeding disorders community, where would you like to see your donation go?
It would use the $1 million to offer strategic leadership training. I would make sure that that training gives leaders the tools they need to be able to obtain their own resources for self-management. In that way, tomorrow’s leaders would be able to acquire resources for their own organizations—and also for other organizations in need.
To read about how other WFH leaders answered these questions, please click here.