Thrombosis is a leading cause of global death and disability, and can cause deadly blood clots that may be prevented. Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) is a combination of blood clots in a deep vein and in the lungs, and unfortunately awareness around the world of these conditions is limited.
Due to a lack of awareness, the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) launched a global campaign to generate attention and activate an urgent global call to action. The two-year campaign was known as World Thrombosis Day 2015: Accelerating a Global Awareness Movement.
The campaign sought to influence the public, health care professionals and health care systems by increasing public awareness of thrombosis, including risks and prevalence, and ultimately reduce deaths and disability. It also aimed to increase the implementation of evidence-based prevention strategies to ensure best practices for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of VTE.
To do so, the campaign had to highlight the issue, the need for action, and increase public awareness of the significance, risks, signs and symptoms of VTE. Additionally, it wanted to empower individuals to seek diagnosis if signs or symptoms existed, and engage their healthcare providers in appropriate prevention and treatment options. It also planned to build support from national organizations across the globe, and begin advocating for “systems of care” to properly prevent, diagnose and treat VTE.
WTD planned to ignite a sense of urgency in the World Health Assembly (WHA) and World Health Organization, which had a common global target to reduce premature deaths. It saw a need to build partnerships and distribute educational materials, data and resources. It sought to encourage the general public to ask their healthcare provider for a VTE risk assessment, and instill a sense of responsibility in the hospital professional community, to create or follow existing guidelines for VTE preventive care for all patient admittance.
The WTD campaign gained more than 320 partners and 11 corporate supporters in 70 countries through traditional and digital platforms, and a global media relations program. A website overhaul provided an enhanced user experience, new resources and downloadable materials in multiple languages. Additionally, WTD distributed infographics and informative images designed to build awareness.
WTD enhanced its social media presence with Twitter chats, campaign badges and new platforms. It created the “ThinkVTE” pledge to encourage people to ask their healthcare professionals for a VTE risk assessment. The campaign also launched a successful “survivor selfie” effort to encourage blood clot survivors to take a photo and share their stories on social media.
Social engagement resulted in 78.7 million impressions with top trending healthcare hashtags, #ClotChat and #WTDay15. Media strategies secured more than 1,000 stories in 48 countries.
In year two, WTD more than doubled its reach with 440 million global impressions from traditional, digital and social communications and activities around the world. Partner engagement spiked significantly through the creation of over 6,500 activities that reached 13.3 million people.
WTD led to new collaborations with healthcare stakeholders such as the National Health Service in England, the European Society of Cardiology and the Center for Disease Control in the United States. As a direct result, hospitals around the globe heightened their awareness of VTE and millions of people learned about risk factors, signs and symptoms.
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