History of WFH World Congresses

The WFH World Congress is the largest international meeting for the global bleeding disorders community and it is hosted in a different country every two years. The WFH World Congress is attended by doctors, scientists, healthcare workers, people with bleeding disorders and hemophilia organizations who gather to learn about the latest developments in bleeding disorders treatment and care, as well as to discuss, to debate and to contribute to a strong global organization and community.

Working with leaders from a group of national patient associations, WFH founder Frank Schnabel convened the first WFH global meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, on June 25, 1963. The event included representatives from 12 countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The 1968 WFH Congress was an important milestone. “It was the first major scientific event in the series,” Anthony Britten, MD (U.K.), wrote in a WFH 25th anniversary retrospective. “Cryoprecipitate was clearly a reality. Lyophilized concentrates were increasingly available. Surgery was becoming safe for most hemophiliacs. Carol Kasper reported outpatient dental extractions. This was a time when there seemed to be no limits.”

In 1983, at the WFH Congress in Stockholm, Sweden, Bruce Evatt, MD (U.S.A.), presented data connecting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in hemophilia patients and plasma to derived treatment concentrates. Following this Congress, the WFH set up the World Hemophilia AIDS Center with the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital, providing rapid access to vital information about the disease.

Over the next few years, the WFH grew rapidly. It held World Congresses regularly and created a global network of healthcare providers, national hemophilia associations, people with hemophilia and their families. The WFH World Congress became a focal point for doctors interested in discussing the status of hemophilia treatment and research and for the hemophilia community at large. Discussions were held focusing on the areas of neglect and accelerating the use of existing knowledge.

Through these meetings, a truly global hemophilia network emerged which has continued to grow in size and influence. WFH Founder Frank Schnabel believed that one of the most important aspects of the WFH is that it provides a mechanism for the exchange of information on a global scale – and this is still true today. The original goal of the bringing together the global bleeding disorders community remains just as relevant today as it did during the first meeting in 1963.

Past and future WFH World Congresses

Congress Date Location
XXXV 2022 Montreal, Canada
XXXIV June 14-17, 2020 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
XXXIII May 20-24, 2018 Glasglow, Scotland
XXXII July 24-28, 2016 Orlando, USA
XXXI May 11-15, 2014 Melbourne, Australia
XXX July 8-12, 2012 Paris, France
XXIX July 10-14, 2010 Buenos Aires, Argentine
XXVIII June 1-5, 2008 Istanbul, Turkey
XXVII May 21-25, 2006 Vancouver, Canada
XXVI October 17-21, 2004 Bangkok, Thailand
XXV May 19-24, 2002 Seville, Spain
XXIV July 16-21, 2000 Montreal, Canada
XXIII May 17-21, 1998 The Hague, Netherlands
XXII June 23-28, 1996 Dublin, Ireland
XXI April 24-29, 1994 Mexico City, Mexico
XX October 12-17, 1992 Athens, Greece
XIX August 14-19, 1990 Washington D.C, USA
XVIII May 26-31, 1988 Madrid, Spain
XVII June 8-13, 1986 Milano, Italy
XVI August 24-28, 1984 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
XV June 27 - July 1, 1983 Stockholm, Sweden
XIV July, 1981 San Jose, Costa Rica
XIII July 8-13, 1979 Tel Aviv, Israel
XII 1977 New York, USA
XI 1976 Kyoto, Japan
X July 30 - August 1, 1975 Helsinki, Finland
IX August 20-22, 1974 Istanbul, Turkey
VIII 1972 Buenos Aires, Argentina
VII 1971 Tehran, Iran
VI July 25-27, 1970 Baden, Austria
V August 26-27, 1968 Montreal, Canada
IV 1966 West Germany
III September 7-9, 1965 Paris, France
II August 27-28, 1964 Amsterdam, Netherlands
I June 25, 1963 Copenhagen, Denmark

© World Federation of Hemophilia