Dear PH Community,
Esperanza, Hoffnung, xiwàng, verwachting, espérer! Different words around the globe convey the same meaning: HOPE! Just as there are many ways to express the same word, there are many pulmonary hypertension (PH) organizations worldwide sharing the same goals: to increase PH awareness, improve access to quality PH care and effective treatments and inspire hope among members of our communities.
Our collective voices come together on May 5, World PH Day, as the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) and more than 80 international PH organizations shine a light on PH to raise global awareness and offer support. The specific challenges may vary by country, but the fight is the same — to bring to the forefront the symptoms of PH for those who may not know about the disease, to emphasize the importance of early diagnosis, to improve access to quality care and effective treatments and to remind patients and their caregivers where they can find trusted and credible informational and educational resources.
On World PH Day, we look at PH from a global perspective. While in the U.S., people with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and individuals with left heart disease account for 71% of all cases of PH, on World PH Day we recognize that in Africa and Asia, the most common way to acquire PH is from schistosomiasis, a parasite found in the water used for bathing and playing. Here at home, I hope you will continue to lend your voice and your stories to help us make our vision of a world without PH a reality. We need your help to encourage the funding of research to find new treatments and ways to improve access to current treatments for PH.
I am extremely appreciative of the collaborative work by our PH global partners and PHA to promote the 2019 World PH Day. Many of us are sending a press release out this week to promote World PH Day – you can read our release on the PHA website. Helping to bring PH awareness to the world stage is this year’s World PH Day website, WorldPHDay.org, featuring a calendar that PH organizations everywhere are using to post their World PH Day events. The site’s home page showcases compelling social media graphics with information from a global perspective on the five different types of PH as identified by the World Health Organization. We invite everyone in our PH community to join us in using World PH Day messages that you’ll find in the World PH Day digital toolkit and to put this year’s hashtag #WorldPHDay2019 in your social media posts beginning May 5 and throughout the month of May. We encourage you to share your stories of living with PH on social media or The Right Heart blog. You can also help by retweeting and liking our posts. Together, we can make a real difference.
All of us worldwide seek increased awareness by our respective governments about the physical, emotional and financial toll this disease takes on those affected by PH. Your participation in our social media campaigns and in advocacy work is what truly energizes these campaigns. Building the health care professional and the general public’s awareness will also do much to ensure those with PH are diagnosed accurately and treated as early as possible.
We are excited to have you join us in promoting this important recognition day and doing all you can to help us achieve our mission: to extend and improve the lives of those affected by PH. To PHA and global PH organizations around the world, everyday is World PH Day.
Please take a moment to share your thoughts and comments about the 2019 World PH Day with me at BradWongPHA@PHAssociation.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
Brad A. Wong
PHA President & CEO