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HFNZ Covid-19 update: 23 March 23/03/2020 6:00pm

The latest update about what the Haemophilia Foundation of NZ are doing in response to Covid-19

Kia ora koutou,

Today our Prime Minister announced further action to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19. As of today we are at level 3 of the Covid-19 alert system, and by Wednesday we will be at level 4. That means strict rules around social interaction and the way we all work and live for at least the next four weeks.

As the Covid-19 situation continues to develop around the world, the health and safety of HFNZ members is our priority. We would like to assure you that we continue to take our response to the pandemic very seriously. The HFNZ executive, CEO, and council has been communicating to determine the actions we will take.

To that end, HFNZ fully support the measures taken by the government and the Ministry of Health, and recommend that HFNZ members follow all instructions to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

What we are doing

HFNZ are maintaining regular 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 staff and volunteer international and domestic air travel has been stopped until further notice.

All staff will be working from home and not physically meeting with members until further notice. This includes meetings at HTCs and regional visits.

Several regional events have been postponed. These include the Nelson fishing trip, the Christchurch Bombardier Blood premiere, the Central screening of Bombardier Blood, and the Northern movie event.

The HFNZ executive are meeting via Zoom this week to discuss other regional and national events and discussing ways we can all stay connected.

Midland Outreach Worker Nicky Hollings was scheduled to finish up at the end of this week. She has offered to continue her role while the national lockdown is in place to ensure continuity of care.

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.

What you can do

  • 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
  • Implement the social distancing measures mandated by the current Covid-19 alert level.
  • Prepare to work from home, and to have your children at home with you
  • Organise child care if you are part of the essential work force
  • Take extra precautions for elderly or immune-compromised groups
  • If you have a bleeding disorder, you may be contacted by your treatment centre prior to any appointment to decide whether to maintain, postpone, or conduct the appointment online. If you have concerns about an appointment, contact your HTC directly.

Bleeding disorder products

As stated in our last update, 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.

Where you can find out more

There are several useful sources of NZ-based information about the Covid-19 outbreak:

https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

https://covid19.govt.nz/

https://news.wfh.org/world-federation-of-hemophilia-statement-update-to-covid-19/

The World Health Organisation (WHO) also has a wealth of information and resources:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/infection-prevention-and-control

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports

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:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

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 via info@haemophilia.org.nz


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