United to achieve Treatment for All

As the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) continues its mission in 2015, I am reminded of all that we have accomplished. At the same time, I am continually aware of all that is left to do for the global bleeding disorders community. The past will always be with us but we must keep pushing forward.

The WFH Strategic Plan provides a framework for our organization, determining what the most important goals are to accomplish. There is continuity with our previous plan’s direction, towards building sustainable care for bleeding disorders, but this plan includes a number of enhancements to address new opportunities and challenges. I encourage you to read more about our new Strategic Plan on pages 1 and 2 of this issue.

  • The 2015-17 plan focuses on the following areas:
  • Improving access to safe and effective treatment products through advocacy and product donations;
  • Building the evidence base, through data collection, our research program, and other tools, to advocate for better care;
  • Incorporating underrepresented populations (including VWD, rare factor deficiencies, and platelet disorders) in all we do;
  • Building capacity and empowering our national member organizations (NMOs) and patients to serve their community successfully;
  • Adapting our healthcare development approach to regional realities; and
  • Capitalizing on digital technologies to amplify our activities and connect our network.

It is an exciting time for the WFH as we set out to expand our Humanitarian Aid Program. The WFH’s vision of Treatment for All is at the forefront of our minds as we intend to reach out to populations within our community that have not yet received adequate treatment and care.

In addition, we will further expand our digital capabilities to the global bleeding disorders community. Effective communication between all participants within our global community is indeed attainable and the WFH places high importance on extending our reach to those who want the latest information about our community, our programs, and scientific innovation. The WFH will look to provide opportunities for our community to reach out online and through social media outlets to connect with people from different parts of the world. This will help bring together people facing similar challenges and at the same time help educate the world about all that is left to accomplish.

While these WFH initiatives will indeed open new possibilities, we are constantly reminded of the challenges facing our organization and our NMOs. Global economic markets are constantly changing, for the better or the worse. Many governments in developed and developing countries are also demanding more clinical evidence to justify the costs associated with treatments. We must remain vigilant to address these new economic realities and advocate effectively ensuring adequate treatment will be the reality for any person with a bleeding disorder.

Our community is indeed global but each region has different and varied needs. A ‘one size fits all’ approach is neither realistic nor attainable. Through evidence and the effective use of data, each country can provide the necessary information to their own government to justify appropriate spending on treatments and care for their own community.

In addition, when we focus too narrowly within each region, we run the risk of isolating these communities. It is only through a global network that we can remain united during these challenges. The WFH provides the solid foundation to support all our national member organizations to achieve their own objectives. The WFH will continue to adapt our healthcare development approaches to accommodate these regional realities while at the same time providing global support based on experience and expertise from around the world.

We cannot lose sight of all the immense work that has already occurred. Indeed, all the struggles that our community has faced with regards to the tragedies during the tainted blood crisis and the work to secure safe and effective treatments, reminds us that we have indeed worked hard to improve the lives of all people with bleeding disorders. We must never forget all members of our community who have died; the many that are still struggling, along with their families; and that safety of treatments will always be a top priority for the WFH. Now is our time to push forward and recognize that we are stronger united. We look forward to 2015 and beyond as we continue to work towards achieving Treatment for All.