Communities Across the Globe Celebrate World PH Day

World PH Day 2012Attendees of World PH Day events in Madrid, Spain

The Asociación Nacional de Hipertensión Pulmonar (ANHP) created World Pulmonary Hypertension Day, May 5, to raise awareness of PH on a global scale. The event consisted of a Scientific Symposium on May 4 for PH physicians, followed by the main World PH Day events, a cocktail gala and the ANHP General Assembly in Madrid, Spain, on May 5.

World PH Day was truly an international event. Not only did patients’ organizations, rare-disease associations, international organizations and scientific societies endorse May 5 as World PH Day, but many patient organizations also held events in their own countries to celebrate it. Though the main celebration was in Madrid, satellite celebrations took place in New Zealand, Argentina, Israel and the U.S. In total, 40 PH and related disease organizations endorsed the event.

World PH Day is the day of the disease. While patients can participate and take pride in the event, so too can clinicians, researchers, pharmaceutical company representatives and health professionals. Nurses, too, played a crucial role in World PH Day because they are so closely linked to patients and they can claim World PH Day as their own.

ANHP is very proud to belong to the PH community. We don’t feel the need to create a worldwide organization, but we strongly believe in the power of raising our individual voices for one common interest, the PH patient, regardless of where they live and what organization they belong to.

We believe that we are small because prevalence of PH is not high, but we are wrong; World PH Day taught all of us we are not alone. It is a privilege to know that a patient in Madagascar or a civil servant in New Zealand can say, “I own World PH Day.” And other owners will answer, “Yes, you do. Take care of it and make it grow.”

By Juan Fuertes Guillén
Coordinator, Asociación Nacional de Hipertensión Pulmonar

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The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) awarded PHA the Abbey S. Meyers Leadership Award in 2012 for outstanding service to PHA members in advocacy, education and other key areas.