Opening ceremonies highlight the progress of the bleeding disorders community

On Sunday evening, hundreds of guests from around the world gathered to participate in the opening ceremonies of the 2016 WFH World Congress. The atmosphere was upbeat in the hall of the Orange County Convention Center’s West Concourse as speakers applauded the efforts of everyone in the bleeding disorders community who were striving to provide “Treatment For All”.

NHF Chair of the Board Jorge de la Riva, WFH president Alain Weill, WFH CEO Alain Baumann, and Val Bias, CEO of NHF, warmly welcomed guests and spoke at a panel discussion about the exciting developments being made in the world of bleeding disorders. The overall theme was clear: progress is being made, and lives are being impacted in a positive way.

Jorge de la Riva spoke about the importance of teamwork in the world of bleeding disorders, saying, “I realized long ago that whatever happens in the hemophilia world is because we took action or neglected to do so. Whatever happens will be, because, in the aggregate, together, with our great community fighting tirelessly, we made it happen.” Alain Weill, added to this statement when he said, “You have to be optimistic—to be fully engaged as a member of our community—whether you are a volunteer, staff member, researcher, healthcare professional, or industry partner.”

The evening also showcased the commitments the WFH and the NHF have made to positively impact the bleeding disorder community now and in the near future. Val Bias spoke enthusiastically about the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program, saying, “These new realities provide us with a unique opportunity to work together to make today’s therapies available to more people around the world with bleeding disorders—many of whom were previously undiagnosed or lacked access to treatment.” Alain Baumann commented on one of the WFH’s major objectives for the next five years: “By 2020, we’ve committed to working towards identifying 50,000 new individuals with bleeding disorders—50 percent of whom are from the world’s most impoverished nations. We’re off to a great start and we’re up to the challenge.”

The evening concluded on an enthusiastic high note from all those involved with the opening of the Exhibition Hall. Attendees enjoyed canapés and refreshments and had the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and friends and talk about all the exciting events the Congress will be offering in the coming days.