What is haemophilia? Why is the condition associated with the Royal Family? And why is it so difficult to get haemophilia travel insurance? Here to help raise awareness and help millions of people get the treatment they need is World Haemophilia Day 2018.
It’s no secret that the British Royal Family have had a big influence on history. But did you know that the Windsors were also associated with a particularly bloody disease? In 1884 Queen Victoria’s son Leopold took a tumble down some stairs. At first his injuries seemed minor – just bruises mainly, “Get over it, Leo”, she might have said – but less than 24 hours later Leopold was dead. Leopold had haemophilia, a hereditary blood defect that was passed on by Queen Victoria to many of her royal descendants and came to be known as the “royal disease”.
In actual fact, haemophilia was nothing new. It’s been around since as long as humans have had blood pumping through their veins and to this day affects around 400,000 people.
Thanks for the history lesson... but what is haemophilia?
Haemophilia is a condition where the blood lacks the ability to clot. When someone with haemophilia bleeds, they bleed for longer. It’s a hereditary disease and it’s very rare, affecting about 1 in 10,000 people. But without treatment haemophilia can kill. People living with the condition can be prone to extended bleeding - either internally or externally - after injuries, surgery, dental work or, in severe cases, for no reason at all.
Are people still dying from haemophilia today?
Left untreated, haemophilia can and does lead to early death. Thankfully treatment for haemophilia has progressed massively since Leopold took his tumble. When a bleed occurs, clotting agent can be injected to the affected area to stem the blood flow. Sadly however only 25% of the world’s haemophiliacs have access to this sort of care. 75% remain undiagnosed and receive inadequate care, or no care at all.
Can we change that?
Yes! The World Federation of Haemophilia is trying to raise awareness of the issue and the 17th of April will mark the 28th World Haemophilia Day. It’s all about raising awareness of haemophilia and building a worldwide community that can share knowledge and help to Close the Gap between the 25% who do receive treatment and the majority who don’t.
So far the World Federation of Haemophilia has achieved some incredible things. Since 2001, there’s been a 225% increase in the availability of life saving treatments. And between 2002 and 2008 there was a 5% increase in the number of children with bleeding disorders that survive childhood in developing countries.
Yet there remains an estimated 6.9 million people in the world living with haemophilia without realising it – that’s massive. This is why the WFH wants to focus on sharing knowledge. They’ve made resources available through their eLearning platform that gives people all over the globe the knowledge to take control of their condition and get on with living life!
Sounds great, how can I help?
If you’ve got a minute spare and aren’t one of those rare Facebook-less types you can head straight to their page and share some of their photos. Or you could download and print off some of their posters to stick up in the office. Or if you’re feeling particularly generous, you could make a donation.
Last year nearly 70 landmarks across the world were lit up red to raise awareness. So if you’re up for painting the town red, get out there, bathe a building in red and post your photos to social media!
Haemophilia travel insurance
We believe there’s no reason why people living with bleeding disorders should be made to suffer extortionate prices on travel insurance. That’s why we offer comprehensive blood disorders travel insurance and haemophilia travel insurance at a price that’s fair. Thanks to our rigorous screening and in-depth medical knowledge, we understand how to create incredibly competitive policies that give you all the peace of mind you need to travel in confidence. So what are you waiting for?
Find out more and get a quote at World-First.co.uk.