The World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) International Frank Schnabel Volunteer Award honours an individual with hemophilia, or a family member of a person with hemophilia who has contributed significantly to further the mission and goals of the WFH.
For over three decades, the 2018 recipient Thomas Sannié has worked tirelessly on behalf of those living with a bleeding disorder in his home country of France, as well as Africa and across the globe. His long list of contributions includes serving the community as a member of countless WFH committees, as well as holding the position of president of l’Association française des hémophiles (the French Association of Hemophilia). He was also a board member of the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, the largest public hospital organization in the Paris region.
Under Sannié’s direction, the French African Alliance for the Treatment of Hemophilia (AFATH) program is flourishing. A forward-looking project, its aim is to have French-speaking sub-Saharan African nations join the WFH as national member organizations. Notable successes include Togo and Mauritania, where in the past five years the work of AFATH has led to 165 new patient diagnoses, 70 newly trained healthcare professionals, and 43 outreach volunteers—a remarkable achievement given the current lack of infrastructure to support bleeding disorder communities in these countries.
These achievements alone would have placed Sannié on any short list for this prestigious award, but his steadfast advocacy for the inclusion of patients’ voices in the healthcare process makes him stand out. His devotion to a patient-centric model of healthcare is not just theoretical. Sannié’s colleagues say he is proactive—organizing public events for the exchange of opinions and writing extensively on the topic—all of which creates a more humane and responsive environment for those living with chronic diseases.
The entire WFH, on behalf of the global bleeding disorder community, joins our president Alain Weill in thanking Sannié for his dedication. We look forward to what is sure to be an ever-growing list of achievements. Congratulations!