World Haemophilia Day 2023

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world haemophilia day

The World Federation of Haemophilia (WFH) and the community of people with hereditary bleeding disorders observe World Haemophilia Day on 17th April of each year, since 1989. Celebrated in honour of Frank Schnabel, this day aims to impart awareness about the disease and ways to control and prevent bleeds of people with haemophilia. The foundation, the community, and the supporters of the community honour the journey of patients and caregivers by using the advocacy toolkit of WFH and taking part in the “Light It Up Red” campaign. 

History of Haemophilia

Haemophilia or “the royal disease” dates back to the 2nd century AD. It was first diagnosed among baby boys in a Jew community. This disease later surfaced in the 10th century among the male population. In the 1100s, uncontrolled bleeding was termed Abulcasis. 

In 1803, a Philadelphia physician, John Conard Otto published the first-ever article on the haemorrhagic bleeding disorder. In this article, Otto mentioned that this disorder is prominent among the male population and is hereditary. He traced this disorder to a female in New Hampshire. 

In 1813, John Hay proposed that certain traits of the bleeding disorder can be transferred from an affected male to an unaffected female offspring of the man. In 1828, Dr Schonlein and Friedrich Hopff minted the term “haemorrhaphilia” to describe this condition. This term was later shortened to “haemophilia”. In 1947, a Buenos Aries-based doctor Dr Alfredo Pavlovsky identified variations in this disease and distinguished it into “Haemophilia A and Haemophilia B”.

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The World Federation of Hemophilia instituted World Haemophilia Day in 1989 to raise awareness about haemophilia and other bleeding disorders. This foundation is a consortium of patient groups from across the globe. The organisation chose April 17 as the International Day of Haemophilia to honour the founder of this foundation- Frank Schnabel. 

To observe this day of global awareness and significance, the WFH, federal governments, medical organisations, patient groups, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) organise conferences, events, campaigns, and seminars to educate people about haemophilia. 


The objectives of International Day of Haemophilia are as follows:

  • To promote the significance of undertaking united and interactive actions to realise the “Treatment for All” vision of the World Federation of Haemophilia.
  • To shift the spotlight to haemophilia and other bleeding disorders and generate awareness about these diseases.  

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Theme 2023

The theme for World Haemophilia Day 2023 is “Access for All: Prevention of bleed as the global standard of care”. With this theme, WFH aspires to call the federal governments and local policymakers to draft and implement policies that provide improved treatment and care to people with bleeding disorders (PWBDs). This implies the implementation of prophylactic and home-based treatments to help PWBDs live a better quality of life. 

Just like every year, WFH will offer a platform to the bleeding disorders community to share their stories on starting 1st of April 2023. PWBDs and caregivers can use this portal to celebrate their journey by sharing personal anecdotes and photographs. This call to action is also a part of the theme 2023. 

Advocacy Toolkit

WFH encourages healthcare professionals, members of any National Member Organisations (NMOs), caregivers, PWBDs, supporters of the community, and every other individual to become a part of the World Haemophilia Day celebration. To increase awareness about the necessity to control and prevent the bleeding of PWBDs in respective communities, one can get started with the below-mentioned initiatives or advocacy toolkit of WFH:

  • Contact: Connect with NMO members and get aligned with them to work collaboratively on the International Day of Haemophilia.
  • Participate: Partake in the “Light it Up Red!” campaign of WFH and light up over 100 landmarks in your cities in support of PWBDs.
  • Advocate: Educate health ministers and elected officials about the initiatives of WFH by sharing the letter template and resource material of the organisation. 
  • Support: Stand in support of the global efforts of WFH to create awareness about bleeding disorders and encourage people to donate blood to the affected patients. 
  • Share: Patients and caregivers should share their stories on World Haemophilia Day on the designated platform:
  • Get Social: Post about your journey of dealing with inherited bleeding disorders on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin with these hashtags: #WHD2023, #LightItUpRed, and #WorldHemophiliaDay.
  • Download: Get resources from the official website of WFH and other medical organisations to build a Global Haemophilia Day campaign and gain information about the importance of the event. 

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Q1. Why is Hemophilia Day celebrated?

Ans. International Hemophilia Day is celebrated to spread knowledge about this hereditary bleeding disorder and raise awareness.

Q2. When is the International Day of Haemophilia?

Ans. It is observed on 17th April of each year. This day is celebrated on the birth anniversary of the founding father of the World Federation of Hemophilia- Frank Schnabel. 

Q3. What is the theme for World Haemophilia Day 2023?

Ans. The theme for 2023 is “Access for All: Prevention of Bleeds as the global standard of care”.

Q4. Who is the founder of the World Federation of Haemophilia?

Ans. Frank Schnabel was the founder of WFH. 

Read and learn about different days of international importance and national significance on Wings by Leverage Edu

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