Kia ora koutou,
As of today all of New Zealand is on day five of alert level four to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19 - a full lockdown for at least four weeks. Only essential services remain open and movement is restricted. That means, 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/
It's important that we all stay connected at this time, and these updates are just a part of it. HFNZ 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pānui and Bloodline will continue. 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.
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!
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. Here's what the HTC's have to say about their local services:
The Haemophilia Centre is still open at the present time, though we are asking that people phone first prior to arriving so we can ensure there is someone here. The hospital has had issues with overloading of phone lines, if this happens please e-mail the centre or if your call is not urgent try again later.
The Haematology/Oncology unit is currently restricting visitors within the department and children under the age of 18 are not permitted. All patients are screened on arrival by a nurse stationed at the main entrance. Scheduled clinical reviews are being carried out via a virtual phone call to patients.
We do ask at this time that patients only attend the hospital if required for urgent treatment, please don’t attend if you are unwell or suspect you or a family member have Covid-19.
There is no shortage of recombinant factor in NZ, please continue to let us know when you have a 1 week supply at home and we can arrange for factor to be delivered. There is no need to stock pile product.
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.
In Wellington we are trying to avoid bringing in patients into the hospital environment where possible. Our 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 supply on hand and continuity of supply has been assured for the foreseeable future. In fairness to everyone people are being provided with no more than their normal entitlement. Access to the various products will continue as per the normal arrangements at the Haemostasis Centre.
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.