This year, the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) encourages the global bleeding disorders community to "Build a Family of Support" by celebrating the many people who help and advocate for those living with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders.
Haemophilia (spelled hemophilia in North America), is a group of hereditary genetic disorders that impair the body's ability to control blood clotting, which is used to stop bleeding when a blood vessel is broken. Haemophilia A (clotting factor VIII deficiency) is the most common form of the disorder, present in about 1 in 5,000 - 10,000 male births. Haemophilia B (factor IX deficiency) occurs in around 1 in about 20,000 - 34,000 male births.
"Families come in many forms, but they all share the ability to support and advocate," said Alain Weill, WFH president.
"We all work together in the fight to raise awareness and improve care, which is why we're inviting the public to acknowledge and celebrate all the people who make up the care teams helping to advance the diagnosis and standards of treatment for those in need."
In honor of this year's World Hemophilia Day, the WFH launched a Global Family Tree online at www.worldhemophiliaday.org where the bleeding disorders community can post comments about the importance of their support networks.
From the site, as well as from their Facebook and Twitter pages, users can tell stories and post photos of people who help to make their lives better or about people living with bleeding disorders who have positively impacted them.
A significant amount of care, support and advocacy is done for these individuals through extended families, which come in many forms, including medical teams, friends and colleagues, as well as relatives. These support networks share in the ability to come together as a community to help improve people's lives.
"World Hemophilia Day provides the bleeding disorders community an opportunity to talk to their extended families, friends, colleagues and caregivers as a way to raise awareness and increase support for those living with an inherited bleeding disorder," Weill said.
"We want to encourage an open discussion that brings awareness to these communities and beyond."
WFH invites the bleeding disorders community to unite and show global support by participating in the following activities on April 17:
To learn more about hemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders, the WFH online Global Family Tree or other World Hemophilia Day activities, please visit World Hemophilia Day and the World Federation of Hemophilia online, where you can find additional support materials and informational resources.
These important World Hemophilia Day initiatives would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors Baxter, Bayer, Biogen, CSL Behring, Novo Nordisk, Precision BioLogic, and Sobi.
For more than 50 years, the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH), an international not-for-profit organization, has worked to improve the lives of people with hemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders. Established in 1963, it is a global network of patient organizations in 127 countries and has official recognition from the World Health Organization. Visit WFH online at www.wfh.org