Cornerstone Initiative

An estimated 1 in 1,000 people worldwide live with a bleeding disorder. Seventy-five per cent of those people receive very inadequate care or no treatment at all, and for many, their disorders remain undiagnosed.

In developed countries, diagnosis, management, and proper care are readily available for people with bleeding disorders. As a result, most can live fuller and healthier lives. In many developing countries, diagnosis and treatment is non-existent; the baseline infrastructure, resources, and time needed to tackle chronic conditions like bleeding disorders are simply lacking.

To address this challenge, the WFH launched the Cornerstone Initiative in January 2013. It aims to continue the work in closing the gap in care for people with bleeding disorders, with a particular focus on improving diagnosis and treatment in the world’s most underserved countries and regions.

The objective of the Cornerstone Initiative is to provide support, expertise, and training to countries with minimal levels of care, which will help them improve and later benefit from the full range of programs and activities offered by the WFH. Through the Cornerstone Initiative, the WFH will lay the foundation of basic care and will build partnerships that will lead to an integrated and sustainable structure of patient support and care delivery. This will move us closer to our vision of Treatment for All.

The work under the Cornerstone Initiative is carried out within the framework of the WFH comprehensive development model. Due to their less developed infrastructure, countries in underserved regions have not been able to take advantage of this development model. Over a two- to four-year period, the Cornerstone Initiative will aim to improve two or three aspects of care development, scaled to the skills and resource capacity of each country or region.

This year, the WFH is focusing on the following areas for its seven Cornerstone country initiatives.



  • Enhance medical expertise (lab)
  • Improve care delivery
  • Strengthen the patient organization


  • Enhance medical expertise
  • Improve care delivery
  • Strengthen the patient organization


  •  Enhance medical expertise (lab & multidisciplinary)
  •  Strengthen the patient organization


  •  Enhance medical expertise (multidisciplinary)
  •  Strengthen the patient organization
South Asia and East Asia 


  • Enhance medical expertise (treaters and MSK)
Southeast Asia and Western Pacific 


  • Enhance medical expertise (lab & multidisciplinary)
  • Strengthen the patient organization


  •  Enhance medical expertise (treaters and lab)
  •  Improve care delivery
  •  Strengthen the patient organization

  Duration and Phases

A Cornerstone Initiative country project is implemented for a period of up to four years, depending upon the needs of the country, the goals of the program, the level of success reached, and the amount of WFH program funding. It is carried out in three phases:

During the assessment phase, WFH program staff gather information and establish communications, and an ongoing working relationship, with patient organizations from underserved countries and/or countries with associate national member organization (NMO) status (new or prospective), and/or from certain regions (mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia). The WFH develops closer ties with the country as it initiates the development of basic standards of care. Country visits allow the WFH to observe first-hand the needs and realities of the country and to determine appropriate program objectives.

Using a step-by-step approach defined in its comprehensive development model, the WFH implements planned activities that address the specific areas that need to be supported and strengthened. Progress is monitored and evaluated, on an annual basis, by program staff and expert volunteers. 

Once the objectives of the country’s initiatives have been reached—and the results are considered to be sustainable—the WFH begins a gradual phase-out. Participating countries that have demonstrated the motivation and the potential to improve bleeding disorders care may be considered for the Country Programs.

  Selection Criteria

To become a Cornerstone Initiative country, the following criteria must be met:

Target countries or regions

  • Country with associate NMO status (new or prospective)
  • Underserved regions and countries (mainly Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia)


  • Low gross national income (GNI)—less than US$1,500
  • Inaccurate diagnosis or no diagnosis at all
  • Limited or low level of clotting factor concentrate (CFC) supply (0 to 0.1 IU per capita)
  • Limited or unsafe blood products

Though many underserved countries or regions meet the above criteria, it is ultimately the WFH and its resources that determine which countries are selected.

For more information about the Cornerstone Initiative, contact us at [email protected].

You can help build the infrastructure and provide training to ensure that basic diagnosis and treatment of bleeding disorders is available in some of the most underserved countries and regions in the world. Support the Cornerstone Initiative today.

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