15 November 2017

Welcome to International Pathology Day – a day when pathologists and laboratory medicine professionals around the world come together to celebrate their life-saving contribution to global health

Today, we ask our members and supporters to join us in illustrating the value of international pathology services by sharing stories, running events and reaching out to decision-makers, colleagues, patients and the general public.

I support International Pathology Day (IPD) because it gives us the opportunity to exchange experiences with our colleagues – other practicing pathologists all over the world. We learn from them, they learn from us, we exchange experiences.
Dr Maadh Aldouri, Consultant Haematologist at Medway Maritime Hospital

Challenges facing global health

In 2017, the need to champion pathology services globally is greater than ever.

Only 35% of low-income countries report having pathology services available in the public sector, with just 30% reporting available treatment services (World Health Organisation [WHO], 2015). Investing in high-quality, accessible pathology services, and ensuring adequate training of pathologists and laboratory medicine staff, will help low-income countries to:

  • curb infectious diseases – Tuberculosis (TB) ranks alongside HIV/AIDS as a leading cause of death worldwide (WHO, 2015). A UNAIDS report shows that of the 36.9 million people living with HIV globally, 17.1 million do not know they have the virus and still need to be reached by HIV testing services.

  • save the lives of children – The risk of a child dying before the age of five is still highest in the WHO African Region – about seven times higher than in the WHO European Region (WHO, 2016).

  • make giving birth safer – Every day in 2015, about 830 women died due to complications of pregnancy and child birth. Almost all of these deaths occurred in low-resource settings, and most could have been prevented (Alkema et al, 2016).

  • bring blood to those in need – Blood transfusion saves lives and improves health, but many patients requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood.

High-quality pathology services are a vital tool in equipping low-income countries to tackle non-communicable, infectious and often preventable illnesses.

Join in around the world

As part of IPD, events are happening here in the UK and across the globe, from guided lab tours to exhibitions and conferences.

This afternoon (13.00 GMT), the College will be hosting a roundtable discussion on the critical role of pathology and laboratory medicine in meeting the commitments of the World Health Organisation's Cancer Resolution. Organised in partnership with The Pathologist magazine and chaired by our President, Dr Suzy Lishman, this event will bring together an internationally-renowned panel of speakers and will be streamed live. Register here to watch online.

We’re also delighted to see organisations around the world running their own events.   

Find out what’s happening near you by visiting our events calendar.

Tell us why IPD matters

Keen to get involved? First, tell us why IPD matters to you, using the hashtag #PathologyDay on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram – and don’t forget to let us know what’s happening in your area.

With more than 60 countries around the world celebrating, 2017 looks to be our biggest year yet!