Designate “LD Awareness & Cures” as the World Health Day Campaign for WHO

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In 2016, working closely with supporters, the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN) fought for long overdue recognition of lymphedema (LE) and lymphatic diseases. The result was that World Lymphedema Day was recognized by the U.S. Senate and began to be celebrated around the world. This is what is possible when we unleash our energy and focus it on the change we demand. 

We now join in solidarity with global lymphedema advocates to ask that the World Health Organization (WHO) declare "LD Awareness & Cures" the focus of WORLD HEALTH DAY. Our goal is to make lymphedema (LE) and lymphatic diseases (LD) a global priority.

  • Our goal is to engage the governments and researchers around the world to dedicate themselves to finding advanced treatments and cures.
  • Our goal is to address the incredible psycho-social burden of those with LE who have felt themselves marginalized, are unable to find treatment and whose quality of life has been negatively transformed by this disease.

In keeping with these goals, we ask that the World Health Organization (WHO) declare "LD Awareness & Cures" the focus of WORLD HEALTH DAY.

Fact: WHO estimates that over 250 million people worldwide have secondary LE

Fact: NIH estimates that primary LE could affect as many as 1 in 300 live births

Fact: WHO estimates that over 120 million are infected with lymphatic filariasis (LF), leaving 40 million disfigured and incapacitated

WHO’s World Health Day is recognized on April 7. It was established to be a call to action for critical health issues affecting the world’s population.

  • The World Health Day 2016 campaign was “Beat Diabetes.” Its objective was to increase awareness of the burden and consequences of that disease worldwide.
  • The World Health Day 2017 campaign was “Depression,” which kicked-off in October 2016, and is focused on prevention and treatment.
  • The World Health Day 2018 campaign is “Universal Health.”
  • Now, we ask the lymphatic and LE community to sign a petition asking that WHO make World Health Day: “Lymphedema: Awareness & Cures.”

We need awareness so that medical practitioners and therapists are prepared to treat all who come to them with LE and lymphatic diseases. We need awareness to inspire communities around the world to embrace this as a common cause. We need awareness to encourage our greatest minds to engage in research and our institutions to then make a priority of funding this research. And then we need to make finding a cure a global priority. Miracles await if we dedicate ourselves to finding them. 

Success is up to us. Success is up to you! Make your voice heard and sign this petition.

William Repicci
President & CEO, LE&RN