The success of the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program firmly rests on ensuring a sustainable and predictable supply of treatment products. Evidence of this success was illustrated during the session “Humanitarian Aid: Treatment for all is the vision of all” on Tuesday morning.
Dr. Assad Haffar, WFH Humanitarian Aid Director, chaired and opened the session highlighting the reality for many around the world living with a bleeding disorder. In numerous developing countries, the lack of access to treatment is an urgent need and an important public health challenge. Since 1996, 322 million IUs have been donated to 90 countries, directly helping over 100,000 people who are in urgent need. The expansion of the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program will now include over 500 million donated IUs in a five year period, providing a predictable supply and permitting planning and forecasting for the first time for the WFH.
Megan Adediran, Executive Director of the Haemophilia Foundation of Nigeria (HFN), began her talk explaining how her organization was created. It was the first treatment donation from the WFH that spurred her to create HFN. As diagnosis rates within Nigeria have increased, so has the need for access to treatment products. The expansion of the WFH Humanitarian Program has also impacted the bleeding disorders community significantly beyond providing lifesaving treatment. Before the expansion began in 2015, only 178 patients were diagnosed. One year later that number increased to 271 patients as word has spread that predictable treatment is now available. “The WFH Humanitarian Aid Program has given hope to families,” said Adediran. “That’s what this program has been able to do for the people of Nigeria.”
Each speaker during this session outlined how improving and sustaining care for those most in need is imperative. Thomas Sannié, President, the Association française des hémophiles (AFH), spoke about how the AFH is working together with the WFH to improve the situation in French speaking countries in sub-Saharan Africa through the French African Alliance for the Treatment of Hemophilia (AFATH). “What motivates us to act is a vision shared with all our partners to bring treatment to all sufferers of bleeding disorders,” said Sannié.
Dr. Kibet Shikuku, Chairman of the Kenya Haemophilia Association, further illustrated the need for the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program. He emphasized that education and research needs to go along with these donations.
As Ahmed Naseer was unable to speak at this session, his hematologist Dr. Shasahi Apte described Naseer’s journey to receive knee replacement surgery. It was only through donations from the WFH that his surgery was made possible, further demonstrating the impact of support for those most in need.
The session concluded with a final thought from Haffar, “Together, we can make the impossible possible.” To learn more about the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program, visit www.treatmentforall.org.