World Haemophilia Day 2023 – Date, History, Importance and How to Observe


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Updated on Apr 05, 2023

April 17 marks the World Haemophilia Day which is commemorated annually and is dedicated to people who have haemophilia. Let us discuss the history and significance of World Haemophilia Day in this post.

Haemophilia is one of the rare conditions in which blood cannot clot properly due to the fact that it lacks satisfactory proteins of blood-clotting. World Haemophilia Day is an event observed worldwide to improve diagnosis and allow access to better treatment to this specific condition. The World Haemophilia Day aims at bringing together people suffering from bleeding disorders from all over the world.

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History of World Haemophilia Day

Haemophilia was first acknowledged in the 10th century when doctors discovered people, particularly men, who suffered profuse bleeding just after some minor cuts and injuries. Major breakthrough couldn’t be done at that time about this illness due to limitations of technology.

It was seen that many prominent figures in history at that time had haemophilia, including royal families in Europe.

Philadelphian doctor John Conrad Otto in 1803 started investigating people whom he described as bleeders and discovered it as a genetic disorder. He stated that the disorder was genetically transferred from healthy mothers to their male children at birth. In 1937, Haemophilia was classified into two categories: A and B.

There is no specific treatment of haemophilia found so far. However, the condition can be managed by using regular injection for clotting factors to restrict impulsive bleeding episodes.

17th April was established as World Haemophilia Day by the World Federation of Haemophilia in 1989. The aim of the day is to promote awareness of the condition and to create funds for those who cannot afford treatment.

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World Haemophilia Day Timeline

  • In 1803 for the first time, Dr. John Conrad, a physician from Philadelphia investigated people with haemophilia. He called them bleeders and discovered that the condition is passed on to boys from mothers at birth
  • In 1937, Argentinian Dr. Alfredo Pavlovsky identified two kinds of haemophilia — A and B
  • In 1989, the World Federation of Haemophilia (WFH) established April 17 as World Haemophilia Day

How to Observe World Haemophilia Day

  • If you are suffering from Haemophilia, you can share your story on how this disease has been impacting you on social media to aware people of the condition. Also, you can read accounts of other people
  • You can contribute money for the research of this ailment
  • To celebrate patients living with a bleeding disease and to promote awareness about World Haemophilia Day, you can turn on a red light in your house or business establishment.

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Some Interesting Facts About Haemophilia

  • Haemophilia is a genetic condition that is inherited by a child from his/her mother
  • Haemophilia C is known as a less dangerous form of the disease as compared to haemophilia A and haemophilia B.  Patients of haemophilia C do not require regular clotting factor
  • Haemophilia mostly affects men because it gets genetically passed down by pregnant mothers to their newly born male child. It is quite rare for women to be born with this disease
  • Haemophilia can be diagnosed through blood tests such as clotting factor tests or factor assays. Haemophilia and its severity can be detected by a bleeding disease
  • Haemophilia A is the most common and frequent kind of the disease that affects one in 5000 men. Haemophilia B is an illness that affects one in every 25,000 men, whereas the haemophilia C is a condition that affects one in every 100,000 men

What is the Importance of World Haemophilia Day?

World Haemophilia Day is important because:

  • It creates awareness about the condition. Haemophilia is a serious and uncommon condition that many people are not aware of. Having no knowledge about this severe illness may cause delayed diagnosis, which in turn may increase the number of people dying because of the disease
  • World Haemophilia Day helps in raising funds for doing research on this condition so that more work could be done on managing the disease better
  • The day is used to show support to people who are affected by the disease or who are living with this condition
  • This Day also enables the rest of the world to show support to such affected people

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To Sum Up

Haemophilia is an inherited condition, which is passed from parents to children through genes.  The condition causes prolonged bleeding after an injury or surgical procedure along with causing painful swelling of the joints. Haemophilia is the most common X-linked disorder. Pregnant mothers act as carriers of haemophilia, though the illness generally hits males only.

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FAQs on World Haemophilia Day 2023

Is a bleeding disorder very severe?

If you are bleeding due to minor cuts, it is not a very big thing. However, if you have severe haemophilia, internal bleeding can be serious. Moreover, if the bleeding is in the ankles, knees or in the elbows, it can be serious as it may harm your organs and tissues, which can be fatal.

Is haemophilia a curable disease?

Haemophilia is a rare bleeding disease with no permanent treatment at present.

Can haemophiliacs donate blood?

Most blood collection centres refuse to accept blood from donors who are patients of haemophilia because of the dangers of bleeding. It is rather good for such people not to donate blood so that they could safeguard their veins.

Who is a carrier of haemophilia?

A carrier of haemophilia is a woman carrying the haemophilia gene through an abnormal X chromosome 

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Apr 03, 2023
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