World Hemophilia Day 2016
World Hemophilia Day is an international observance held on April 17, 2016 by the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH). It is an awareness day for hemophilia and other bleeding disorders, which also serves to raise funds and attract volunteers for the WFH. It was started in 1989 and is held annually; April 17 was chosen in honor of Frank Schnabel's birthday. Frank Schnabel established the WFH in 1963.
Haemophilia is a group of hereditary genetic disorders that impair the body's ability to control blood clotting or coagulation, which is used to stop bleeding when a blood vessel is broken. Hemophiliacs (people with hemophilia) have lower levels of clotting factor in the the blood and bleeding continues for much longer periods.
There are two types of hemophilia. Hemophilia A is linked to low levels of clotting factor VIII (8). Hemophilia B is more rare and is associated with low levels of clotting factor IX (9). Hemophilia is diagnosed by taking a blood sample and testing the levels of clotting factor VIII & IX.
Haemophilia A is the most common form of the disorder, present in about 1 in 5,000 – 10,000 male births. Haemophilia B occurs in around 1 in about 20,000 – 34,000 male births.
Each type of hemophilia causes prolonged bleeding which is the main symptom of hemophilia. Bleeding can range from mild to severe. Bleeding is often internal, although people can bleed outside the body too.
Left untreated, severe cases of hemophilia can lead to an early death. However, there are successful treatment options available, and if managed, people with hemophilia are largely unaffected by this condition living full and healthy lives. Treatments for hemophilia involve injecting the missing clotting factor into the bloodstream.
Unfortunately, there are many people in the world, who receive poor treatment or no treatment at all, for hemophilia and related bleeding disorders. According to the World Federation of Hemophilia, about 1 in every 1000 person has a bleeding disorder; many are left untreated. The aim of World Hemophilia Day is to raise awareness about hemophilia and increase the availability of treatments for this condition around the world.
The slogan for World Hemophilia Day 2016 is 'Close The Gap'.