WFH NETWORK

WFH Launches COVID-19 Relief Fund

The pandemic has fundamentally changed how we work, learn, and communicate. In developed countries, people have pivoted to working and learning online and instituting new safety protocols to protect themselves and loved ones. Imagine for a moment how difficult our new reality would be if you had no stable internet access? Or how parents would cope with traveling four hours on a crowded bus to secure factor for their children? When the pandemic first hit, the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) was concerned that as national healthcare systems moved to meet the challenges brought on by COVID-19, the gap in access to treatment could increase. We moved quickly to mitigate this in the early days of the pandemic—to ensure that critical programs and donated factor deliveries would not be affected and that our community would continue to receive accurate, up to date information.

The WFH also reached out to our national member organizations (NMOs) to find out how they were coping. Their responses revealed a gap that extended beyond treatment and impacted other aspects of their work and lives. At the NMO level, many lacked the tools to access WFH webinars and workshops and could not reliably reach their community to offer support. Patient families lacked access to the internet, and the long public transportation rides to urban-based hemophilia treatment centres (HTCs) became unsafe as the pandemic took grip. The lack of access to healthcare professionals and community isolation were clearly taking a toll on the community.

Salome Mekhuzla, Director Global Development
The needs of our NMOs are changing rapidly. The COVID-19 Relief Fund will help ensure no patient is left behind

In direct response to these challenges, the WFH is launching the COVID-19 Relief Fund. This initiative will have a direct and immediate impact on the lives of patients by enabling NMOs to continue to provide programs and services and to ensure that people with bleeding disorders can safely access treatment and care. All 147 WFH NMOs are eligible to apply.

The WFH Board of Directors unanimously voted to commit $100,000 Canadian to the fund and to begin efforts to match this commitment with additional funding from our donors and partners.

Some initiatives the COVID-19 Relief Fund can cover include:

  • Software, computers, related office equipment and internet connectivity to access or deliver online training and outreach activities
  • Communication costs for community engagement and outreach
  • Additional costs to enable people with bleeding disorders (PWBD) to access treatment and care, including transportation expenses or costs associated with the delivery of treatment products
  • Purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) related to COVID-19

If you are an organization interested in supporting our work, please contact the Strategic and Community Partnerships team at [email protected]. If you are an individual who believes that where you live should not determine your level of care, support the work of the WFH today at www.wfh.org/give.