In the aftermath of the disastrous explosions in Beirut port on 04 August 2020, TIF reached out to several collaborators in Lebanon including Mrs Mouna Haraoui – a TIF Board Member for many years – to express the Federation’s solidarity and readiness to assist our patients in need.
The country struggles with economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to the consequences of the explosions and political unrest, all of which are affecting thalassaemia patients to varying extents. Hence, a virtual meeting took place on 21 August 2020 with Ms Michelle Abi Saad, TIF Board Member, Prof. Ali Taher, treating physician and Member of TIF’s International Scientific Advisory Board and Mr Michel Al Haddad, expert patient andT-PAG member, to better understand the situation and identify ways in which TIF can help and support the patient community.
The discussion demonstrated that provision of and accessibility to supplies (blood bags, transfusion equipment, medicines, PPE etc) have been affected or will be affected in the near future. TIF has managed to secure for the Chronic Care Center in Lebanon, a TIF Member Organisation specialized in the treatment and follow-up of childhood chronic diseases, generous donations of deferiprone, a drug for the treatment of iron accumulation in patients suffering from thalassaemia major, by the global pharmaceutical company Chiesi Group, 6,000 Thalaset Infusion Sets from the global medical products and technologies company, ConvaTec, and 2,000 protective face masks from Agios Pharma.
It is noted that Lebanon is experiencing an exceptional period of calamity, however accessibility to the country is not affected as is the case with other countries that experience warfare and political instability, and which may have similar needs, thus allowing the Federation to provide such support as described above.