World Health Organisation

The Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF) works in official relations with the World Health Organization (W.H.O.), since 1996 and more specifically with the Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion Department (CHP). TIF has focused much attention and has been working for many years with the Human Genetics Program office, which falls within the department the Chronic Disease Prevention and Management of the Non-Communicable Disease section. Currently, this department is being coordinated by Dr Shanthi Mendis.


  1. Co- organizes or co-sponsors educational programmes at the regional and/or international level with WHO Regional Offices or the WHO headquarters.
  2. Attends and contributes to the Executive Board Meetings and/or the World Health Assemblies, through 3-minute statement interventions.
  3. Works with the Regional Offices of the W.H.O., organizing and performing various activities in each Region including the preparation of Guidelines for the management of haemoglobin disorders particularly tailored to address the problems specific to a region.
TIF has also a great interest and contributes in various other areas of work of the W.H.O. such as: Blood Safety and Quality of Transfusions Disease coding: Counterfeit medicines: TIF has contributed greatly in the adoption, in May 2006, of the following two resolutions, which pertain specifically to haemoglobinopathies: EB118.R1 on thalassaemia and other haemoglobinopathies and WHA59.20 on sickle cell anaemia.

Read TIF’s Statement to the Consultation for the Inclusion of Whole Blood & Red Blood Cells of the WHO Essential Medicines List

We are proud to announce that the ‪Thalassaemia‬ International Federation received the 2015 Dr LEE Jong-wook Memorial ‪‎Prize‬ for Public Health ‪‎WHA68‬ . The World Health Organization (WHO) has presented the Dr Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health to the Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF) at the 68th World Health Assembly on May 21 in Geneva, Switzerland. The prize is one of the most prestigious honors given by WHO to non-governmental organizations that have made an outstanding contribution in the area of public health. The Prize aims at rewarding work that has extended far beyond the call of normal duties and is accompanied by a monetary reward of $100,000. Dr. LEE Jong-wook was the Director-General of WHO from 2003 to 2006 and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most powerful people in 2004.

Watch the video of the Award Ceremony of the 68th World Health Assembly

On 16 – 18 November 2007, a joint WHO – TIF meeting was held in Nicosia, Cyprus, entitled: “The Management of Haemoglobin Disorders”. The meeting was convened at the request of WHO’s Human Genetics Programme (HGN) following the approval, in May 2006, of WHO resolutions on sickle cell anaemia WHA59.20 and thalassaemia and other haemoglobinopathies EB118.R1. Meeting participants included 28 experts from low/middle-income and high-income countries, and 6 staff members from TIF headquarters. The overall consensus of the group was to promote the implementation of the WHO resolutions on sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia in all affected Member States.

Read the report here