Every year, April 17 is observed as World Hemophilia Day. It is an international awareness day for hemophilia (also spelled as haemophilia) and other bleeding disorders and also marks the birth anniversary of Frank Schnabel, the founder of the World Federation of Hemophilia. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year all the activities and programmes will be held virtually. The day has been marked since 1989 and several communities come together to celebrate the continuous advances in treatment while raising awareness and bringing understanding and attention to the issues related to proper care to the wider public.
What is Hemophilia?
Hemophilia is a disorder that results in excessive bleeding. People who are suffering from severe hemophilia may bleed for no reason.
The theme for the year 2021 World Hemophilia Day is ‘Adapting to Change, sustaining care in a new world.’ This theme has been decided considering the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact on people with a bleeding disorder and is it important for the world to stand together in this changing scenario.
Cesar Garrido, President of the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) said “The COVID-19 pandemic has made life challenging for people with a bleeding disorder—but we can’t stop striving for Treatment for All. World Hemophilia Day is a platform for showing the world that our community is resilient and we will overcome this new challenge as we have overcome other challenges in the past.”
History and Significance
The World Federation of Haemophilia (WFH) started celebrating the day in 1989 and chose April 17 to celebrate it in honour of the founder of WFH Frank Schnabel. Haemophilia was discovered in the 10th century and was found mainly in males. The disease was then known as Abulcasis. In the year 1937, haemophilia genetic disorder was divided into two types namely A and B, however, no proper treatment was found till that time.
Then, it was decided to raise awareness about the disease among the people and make them understand the need to give the right attention to this serious health issue. In 1963, the WFM was established to improve treatment and care for all the hemophiliac patients.
Awareness-raising campaigns, conferences, workshops, etc. are being organised on this day by several communities and people. various kinds of activities are being performed to inform the general public about Haemophilia disease. Also, landmarks and monuments in Australia and around the world change their colour to red in the night to support World Haemophilia Day.