April 17 is observed as World Haemophilia Day. The World Haemophilia Day 2019 is aimed at reaching out and identifying new members of the bleeding disorders community.
April 17 is observed as World Hemophilia Day to commemorate the birthday of Frank Schnabel who established the World Federation of Haemophilia in 1963.
Haemophilia and its Occurrence
Haemophilia is a medical condition in which the ability of blood to clot is severely reduced. As a result, even a minor injury can cause severe bleeding. It is mostly inherited and is attributed to the defect in the X chromosome.
If a girl is born with one defective X chromosome, her other X chromosome can compensate for it. As a result, she will be a carrier of haemophilia but she herself will not suffer from the condition. On the other hand, if both of her X chromosomes are defective she is bound to suffer from haemophilia.
If a boy is born with a defective X chromosome, he does not have the second X chromosome to compensate for it. Hence he will suffer from haemophilia. That is the reason haemophilia is more common among men.
Britain’s Queen Victoria is the world’s most widely known carrier of haemophilia. From her, the condition spread to a number of European royal families. Hence haemophilia is often referred to as the Royal Disease.
Haemophilia A, occurs in about 1 in 5,000 births, while Haemophilia B is even rarer at about 1 in about 20,000 births. According to the World Federation of Haemophilia’s Annual Global Survey 2017, there were over 1.96 lakh persons living with haemophilia across the world in 2017 and India emerged with the highest count at nearly 19,000.