Every year on April 17, World Hemophilia Day, sponsored by the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) is celebrated to raise awareness for hemophilia and other inherited blood disorders. The message of this year’s World Hemophilia Day is “Close the Gap” which focuses on eliminating the disparity in available treatment for blood disorders around the world.
Hemophilia is an inherited disorder in which the blood does not clot properly. Hemophiliacs do not have enough functioning clotting factor, a protein that controls bleeding. The main signs of hemophilia are excessive or spontaneous bleeding, easy bruising, and bleeding in the muscles and joints. Hemophilia can also lead to bleeding into the brain and other major organs which is especially dangerous.
Untreated hemophilia can lead to death but there are successful treatment options available. The most common form of treatment is replacement therapy in which the missing clotting factor is injected into the bloodstream. However, such an advanced form of treatment is expensive, making it only available in resource-rich countries.
According to the WFH, it is estimated that 1 in 1000 men and women have a bleeding disorder, yet 75% still receive inadequate or no treatment due to lack of accessibility and affordability of care. It is the WHF’s goal to make treatment globally available to all people.
In order to help spread the message to “Close the Gap” of care, the WFH is running a World Hemophilia Day campaign. The organization asks people to wear red to support the cause and then post photos and stories of their involvement on the WFH Facebook page.
Later this year both the World Federation of Hemophilia’s Congress and the European Hemophilia Consortium’s conference will be held to further discuss blood disorder innovations and methods to widen the availability of treatment.
Help spread the word about blood disorders this World Hemophilia Day. Remember to post pictures to Facebook sporting your red to support the cause! Together, we will “close the gap” in blood disorder treatment.