May 15, 2013 >> back to issue
World PH Day Unites the Globe
World PH Day 2013, held May 5, brought associations around the globe together to raise awareness and show support for pulmonary hypertension patients. The Asociación Nacional de Hipertensión Pulmonar in Madrid, Spain, held the first World PH Day last year with the hope that the day would truly become a world day with events around the globe. From a handful of events last year (a symposium in Madrid and some satellite events in China and Argentina) to more than 60 events this year, this dream has truly become a reality.
Every PH patient association in the world did something special for World PH Day, including groups of people in Chile and Costa Rica, where patients and families are trying to start associations. In Chile several people held a protest for insurance rights, and in Costa Rica patients and families celebrated a “healthy living” day. This year many groups around the world took to the streets to raise awareness by handing out flyers or holding flash mobs, a sudden gathering of a group of people in a public place. The day was also used as a way to reveal new programming or materials, like a Patient’s Guide in Argentina and a new website design in South Africa. PHA Europe’s “Get Breathless” sporting events included everything from bicycling to Six-Minute Marathons to boxing and dancing activities. Even Pope Francis acknowledged World PH Day by mentioning patients and their families in his address on May 5. For more World PH Day coverage and to see a video of Pope Francis acknowledging pulmonary hypertension in his speech, visit PHA President Rino Aldrighetti's blog.
For those who could not join an event in person, the World PH Day website provided opportunities for participation. The website has had more than 11,000 page views and nearly 4,000 website views, with a peak of nearly 600 views on World PH Day. People from 83 countries visited the website. The World PH Day Facebook group had a reach of more than 3,000 people on World PH Day alone. Additionally, 149 people submitted their photos to the Worldwide Photo Mosaic, and many more posted pictures on other social media sites like Facebook and Weibo! Photos from World PH Day events will be available on the World PH Day website soon.
If you missed World PH Day, it’s not too late. Some events inspired by World PH Day are still going on, including PHA Europe’s Ironman events and online dance classes hosted by the Bulgarian Society for Patients with PH on Wednesday, May 22, from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET. Start your Wednesday off by getting breathless for PH!