Duchenne Data Foundation and the World Duchenne Organization start the Duchenne Emergency and Capacity Building Program
Amsterdam, 15 February – In Rare Diseases like Duchenne and Becker Muscular Dystrophy (DMD/BMD), developing strong patient communities plays a fundamental role. Communities are able to act on a local level to have a global impact for the well-being of all the families of people who live with this pathology. However, local communities are not always equipped with the right tools and opportunities to do so, and are often affected by emergency situations that have a significant impact on the local community.
First aid directed to Lebanon
This is the case in Lebanon, where the effects of the large explosion at the city port and the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in an emergency situation. Many families need medical equipment to take care of their sons, who suffer from DMD/BMD. For this reason, Duchenne Data Foundation and the World Duchenne Organization decided to set up a support program for local communities that has global supervision through a strategic global capacity building program. The program is starting with the emergency in Lebanon after the Beirut Explosion.
Gathering the equipment
Elizabeth Vroom, chair of the World Duchenne Organization and initiator of the project, is happy with the delivery. “Gathering the equipment was easy. The Dutch centers for home ventilation connected to University hospitals, and two companies offered to donate equipment. A foundation specialized in the reuse of medical equipment checked the ventilators” explains Elizabeth. “The biggest challenge was shipping the goods to Lebanon. We wanted to be 100% sure the materials would really reach the families.”
Thanks to in kind donations from the Erasmus MC, Utrecht MC, UMC Groningen, Medic Foundation, Medipoint, Vivisol and the financial support of Dutch Duchenne families and Sarepta Therapeutics, the World Duchenne Organization was able to coordinate the shipment of medical equipment to Lebanon.
Arriving at Lebanon
When the equipment arrived, founder of the Lebanese DMD patient organization Land for Hope Aida Adra and her family were overjoyed. “It was so smooth to handle the donation, and we were so excited to see what we have for our kids, like Christmas gifts. Finally we opened all the boxes, and by tomorrow we will start to distribute it to the families. When people are not able to come, we will make sure to deliver it to them. Thank you to everyone who participated in this operation. Proud to be a part and member of the World Duchenne Organization”
About the Emergency Program
For more information on the Emergency Program, please contact Nicoletta Madia