Christine Ashimwe, the founder of Rwanda Clot Awareness Network, has received a prestigious award for thrombosis advocacy achievements by the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemotasis (ISTH).
Rwanda Clot Awareness Network, an organisation that brings together patients, advocates, researchers and healthcare professionals in Rwanda, is dedicated to increasing public awareness and education about thrombosis.
Thrombosis is the formation of blood clots within a vessel and globally it will be celebrated on Saturday October 13.
Ashimwe was selected following a competitive review process of more than 120 global nominations.
This prestigious recognition highlights Ashimwe's drive to achieve the campaign's mission of shining a global spotlight on the condition of thrombosis.
It also showcases her ability to motivate others within thrombosis advocacy programmes in Rwanda and around the world through innovative approaches to raise awareness and accomplish advocacy goals.
The World Thrombosis Day Ambassador of the Year honour aims to recognise a passionate individual dedicated to building awareness about thrombosis, also known as blood clots, in his or her community, region, and country or even globally in an effort to save lives.
"We are honoured to recognise Christine Ashimwe as the campaign's first-ever Thrombosis Ambassador of the Year, for her personal experience as a thrombosis survivor, coupled with her passion for helping others, is integral to her role as the World Thrombosis Day 2018 Ambassador of the Year, and her dedication to helping others inspires us," said Gary Raskob, the Chair, World Thrombosis Day Steering Committee.
Ashimwe was inspired to start the network after personally suffering a venous thromboembolism (VTE) in 2015, followed by multiple recurring blood clots.
"I knew nothing about blood clots prior to my diagnosis, which is why I am so passionate about educating others about the risk factors, signs and symptoms of the condition.
"I am proud to serve as the World Thrombosis Day 2018 Ambassador of the Year and look forward to leveraging this platform to expand awareness and share my story to inspire and motivate others," Ashimwe said.
In recognition of her role as the 2018 Thrombosis Ambassador of the Year, Ashimwe will serve as a panellist during the World Thrombosis Day session at the ISTH congress in Melbourne, Australia.
Additionally, the ISTH will make a donation of $5,000 USD to the Rwanda Clot Awareness Network.
Launched in 2014 and held annually on 13 October, World Thrombosis Day (WTD) aims to increase public, healthcare professional and health care systems' awareness of thrombosis and, ultimately, to reduce deaths and disabilities from thromboembolic disease through a greater awareness of its causes, risk factors, signs and symptoms, and evidence-based prevention and treatment.