According to the World Federation of Haemophilia (WFHEF), over 420,000 people across the world suffer from the disorder and, according to the latest report by the  Cuenta de Alto Costo (a non-governmental technical body run by the Sistema General de Seguridad Social en Salud) 4070 of them live in Colombia (the most common strains being type A, type B and Von Willebrand).

Shire, a global pharmaceutical leader in plasma-based proteins and recombinant proteins used to treat blood disorders, has decided to address this situation by creating a Public Affairs and Communications programme – with the support of Agora – to bring the global ‘Listen to their voices’ campaign run by the World Federation of Haemophilia for World Haemophilia Day (April 17) to Colombia.

The main activity of the Public Affairs campaign was the Forum ‘Challenges and Trends in Haemophilia Care in Colombia’ aimed at healthcare authorities, plans, providers and operators in the Colombian system, which featured prominent doctors and patients who spent 5 hours discussing how to strengthen public policy on haemophilia in Colombia to improve the access of patients to diagnosis and treatment.

“Leading companies such as Shire play a fundamental role in the construction of public policy”.

Miguel Ángel Herrera, President and Partner of Agora in Colombia.

In the field of communications, Shire, along with the World Haemophilia Federation and its global ‘Listen to their voices’ campaign, bathed the iconic Torre Colpatria, one of the tallest buildings in Colombia in red light to symbolize understanding and support of patients and the families of those suffering from haemophilia across the country. Different groups in society came to the illuminated Tower to release red balloons at 7 in the evening, expressing their support of those suffering from the disorder. In addition to the Torre Colpatria, more than 40 other monuments across the world were also dressed or bathed in red.

Agora also prepared activities with different audiovisual, radio and print media to educate the public and spread awareness of haemophilia on the disorder’s World Awareness Day. Coverage of the tower lighting event and the Forum appeared in the leading media outlets in the country. Portafolio, one of the country’s bestselling newspapers, dedicated a page to an interview with the President of Shire, in which he outlined the company’s leadership in the field, explaining recent scientific accomplishments, innovations and developments in treating haemophilia.

 “Shire has demonstrated its genuine commitment to combatting haemophilia to important actors in the system on the World Day of Awareness”.

Diana María Gacharná, Director of Agora Colombia.