17 April: World Haemophilia Day
World Haemophilia Day was observed globally on 17 April 2016 with theme Treatment for all is the vision of all.
The day aims at raising awareness about haemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders. The day also provides an opportunity to talk to the family and friends, colleagues, and caregivers to raise awareness and increase support for those living with an inherited bleeding disorder.
Hemophilia Day was established in 1989 with the support of the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH). The date of 17 April was chosen to honour Frank Schnabel, the founder of WFH, whose birthday falls on the same date.
What is haemophilia?
• It is the oldest known genetic bleeding disorder and is caused by a deficiency in the genes.
• It impairs the body’s ability to control blood clotting, which is used to stop bleeding when a blood vessel is broken.
• It is a disease that transmits at birth from an affected father to daughter, who then becomes a carrier of the haemophilia cells who is at higher risk of passing the defective gene on to her children.
Types of haemophilia
There are two types of haemophilia and each type is linked to a low level of a certain clotting factor.
• Haemophilia A: It is the more common type and is linked to low levels of clotting factor VIII (8). The disease is present in about 1 in 5000 to 10000 male births.
• Haemophilia B: It is rarer and is associated with low levels of clotting factor IX (9). The disease occurs in around 1 in about 20000–34000 male births.
Haemophilia is diagnosed by taking a blood sample and testing the levels of clotting factor VIII & IX. The disease is not curable; however, it can be handled with proper knowledge and treatment.
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When: 17 April 2016