Kia ora koutou,
As of today all of New Zealand is on day twelve of alert level four - a full lockdown for at least four weeks. That means only essential services remain open and movement is restricted. So, unless you're in an essential occupation, we should all be at home in our bubbles making sure we're not putting ourselves or others at risk of infection. You can find out more about what alert level four means here: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-level/
As many of you will have found out already, lockdown can be boring! So, please note the message above - isolation, not isolated. It's important that we all stay connected at this time, and these updates are just a part of it.
We encourage you all to keep talking to one another. Keep an eye on the social media channels you favour, email and call your friends and family, learn how to use the technology to see and hear those that you're close to, and above all, be kind to one another.
If technology is a foriegn language to you, here are some great places to start...
- One way to connect with your friends and family is via group video calling on Facebook Messenger. Here's how to make that work.
- If you're interested in lollies, and participatory democracy, check out the #NZLollyScramble on Twitter.
- Or, YouTube is full of bored people doing very clever creative things, like this family and this outdoorsy chap.
Remember, all HFNZ communication channels remain open, so follow us on Facebook, look out for our emails, and feel free to reach out to your Outreach Worker on 0508 FACTOR (322 867) if you need support or information.
It is important to note that there continues to be an ongoing supply of treatment products available in NZ. Freight routes remain open, and the pharmaceutical companies assure us that there is no threat to supply. HTCs are supplying treatment products at patients' regular levels.
Finally, a big shout out and bunch of flowers (see below) to all the staff who are working hard to keep in touch with our community and keep the organisation ticking over while in lockdown. Remember to keep yourself safe, be kind and be patient.
What we are doing
HFNZ are maintaining ongoing contact with key groups, including clinicians and pharmaceutical companies, and taking advice from the World Federation of Hemophilia and the NZ Ministry of Health.
All regional events and the upcoming youth camp are postponed. This decision will be reviewed on 1 July 2020.
All staff will be working from home and not physically meeting with members until further notice. Our Outreach team are always available if you need to reach out for support. Just call 0508 FACTOR. Outreach Workers will be in closer contact over the coming weeks, and are always at the end of the phone or email.
The next issue of Bloodline, due out at the end of April, will be an online only publication. That means you'll receive it via email rather than in the post. We hope to print some at a later date, for those without access to email.
What you can do
- Stay home, unless you are an essential worker.
- Implement all other social distancing measures mandated by the current Covid-19 alert level.
- Keep your treatments up to date, with a two-week supply on hand.
- Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Observe strict cough etiquette by coughing or sneezing into your elbow or a tissue. Discard the tissue immediately into a closed bin.
- Take extra precautions for elderly or immune-compromised groups.
- Be kind to each other!
If your work has been impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak and your income is affected you may be able to get financial support from the government. To find out more about your options check out the dedicated Work and Income Covid-19 page: https://workandincome.govt.nz/eligibility/emergencies/2020/coronavirus.html.
One way to fill a few minutes during lockdown is to complete the 2020 HFNZ member survey. This is a great way to help the HFNZ team do their work, and you can go in the draw for one of two $50 Prezzy cards: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2020HFNZsurvey.
Bleeding disorder products
As stated above, there is no concern over treatment supply. Companies are required to have 3-6 months stock in the country at any time, and all freight supply routes remain open. That means patients should carry on as normal as far as their treatment goes.
Please do not stockpile treatment products, as this may affect availability for others.
The World Federation of Hemophilia advise that there is currently no known risk to blood, blood treatment products, or plasma derived products.
Haemophilia Treatment Centres
As essential services, all haemophilia treatment centres remain available. Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield reminded us today that it's important for people with existing medical conditions, like bleeding disorders, continue to access the urgent care they need when they need it. So, if you have a situation that requires medical attention, don't put it off.
Here's what the HTC's have to say about their local services:
The Haemophilia Centre is still open at the present time if required for urgent treatment, Please call or email before arrival.
Contact Karen or Vanessa at email@example.com or on 09 307 4949 ext 25285.
The Waikato HTC want to remind all patients the they remain available by phone, and that they will be running telephone consultations.
Contact Maureen Campbell at Maureen.Campbell@waikatodhb.health.nz or on 021 846 920 or 07 839 8899 ext 23638.
It is business as usual in Mid Central. Patients can contact Darryl at Daryl.Pollock@midcentral.co.nz or on her cell 0272408254 as she is working from home. If anyone needs to be seen, it can be sorted out at the time.
Wellington haemophilia review clinics are going to be done as telephone consultations. If patients require anything please contact the haemophilia CNS BJ Ramsay as normal at Brian.Ramsay@ccdhb.org.nz or via the haemophilia phone on 0273345081.
We have the normal amount of treatment on hand,and access to the various products will continue as per the normal arrangements.
Contact Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 027 526 1574 during office hours.
Contact Val Waugh at Val.email@example.com or on 027 269 9383, or the haematologist on call via main operator Dunedin Hospital at 03 474 0999 for any urgent problem.
Where you can find out more
There are several useful sources of NZ-based information about the Covid-19 outbreak:
The World Health Organisation (WHO) also has a wealth of information and resources:
We understand that there is a lot of confusing and contradictory information available at the moment. This link from WHO busts some of the myths:
We will be regularly updating our website and Facebook page, as well as sending out emails with the latest information.
If you have any questions, please contact HFNZ via the 0508 FACTOR number or at firstname.lastname@example.org.