World Haemophilia Day is observed around the world on 17 April to increase awareness of haemophilia and other bleeding disorders, with an ultimate goal of ensuring better diagnosis and access to care for the millions who have a rare bleeding disorder yet remain without treatment.
The Haemophilia Foundation of New Zealand Inc. (HFNZ) is marking World Haemophilia Day by launching the Buddy Awards. Sponsored by Novo Nordisk, a global healthcare company with expertise in haemophilia care, the Buddy Awards recognise the vital support provided by friends, families, and health professionals who have to cope with the everyday challenges that haemophilia and bleeding disorders can involve.
HFNZ Chief Executive, Richard Chambers, said: "The lack of public awareness of bleeding disorders means that families and friends take on a great deal of responsibility for their friends and loved ones. The Buddy Awards are a way for people with a bleeding disorder to give a very special thank you to their 'buddy'."
The 18 inaugural Buddy Award winners include nurses, physiotherapists, family and friends of people with a bleeding disorder. Over the weekend there will be three award ceremonies around the country, in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, to honour all those nominated and celebrate World Haemophilia Day. (See Events for more information)
HFNZ President, Deon York, said: "The Buddy Awards are a perfect way to mark World Haemophilia Day, celebrating inspirational individuals, committed healthcare professionals and families living with a bleeding disorder."
HFNZ provides education and support to people with bleeding disorders and their families. Over 1300 people in New Zealand have bleeding disorders, including haemophilia, a genetic condition that can cause bleeding into joints and muscles, resulting in very painful symptoms that can damage joints over time.