Cornerstone Initiative

An estimated 1 in 1,000 people worldwide live with a bleeding disorder, but 75 percent of these still receive very inadequate care or no treatment at all; 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 do not exist to tackle chronic conditions like bleeding disorders.

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 new Cornerstone Initiative

The objective of the new Cornerstone Initiative is to provide support, expertise, and training to countries with minimal levels of care, which will help them improve and benefit later from WFH’s full range of programs and activities. Through this initiative, the WFH will lay the foundation of basic care and build partnerships that 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.

Over a 10-year period, 15 target countries  or regions will be selected from among the WFH associate National Member Organizations ─ both newly recruited and prospective ─ where current standards of care are inadequate, if they exist at all, for bleeding disorder patients.

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, this initiative will aim to improve two or three aspects of care development, scaled to the skills and resource capacity of each country or region:

  1. Developing or improving diagnosis capacity. With the support of our medical and lay volunteer network, and in partnership with international organizations, improved diagnosis will lead to the identification and treatment of more people suffering, unbeknown to themselves, with a bleeding disorder.
  2. Providing basic training in the management of bleeding disorders, where treatment products are neither available nor accessible, the WFH will build capacity among healthcare professionals, patients and their families, previously identified thanks to our partners across the world, to better manage the illness; making life with bleeding disorders more tolerable. 
  3. Strengthen patient organizations. These organizations will provide greater networks of support, knowledge and comfort to patients and their families; improved education for patients and parents, based on training programs; and assistance for people and families living with bleeding disorders, so they feel supported by a network.

Nigeria which was the first to be selected as a Cornerstone country, is now a country program. Ethiopia and Nepal joined the program in 2014, Cambodia and Zambia in 2015, and Togo and Bangladesh in 2016 and Zimbabwe and Myanmar in 2017. Current Cornerstone country initiatives

Duration and phases, selection criteria 
Comprehensive development model (PDF)

For more information about the Cornerstone Initiative, contact us at

Updated May 2017