History of the World Thyroid Day and the International Thyroid Awareness Week

During their AGM prior to the ETA congress in Leipzig, Germany, in September 2007, the members of Thyroid Federation International decided to create a “World Thyroid Day”. They choose the date of May 25th (where there is already a national thyroid awareness day in some Scandinavian countries). During the ETA congress, they put a little poster on their booth : “The 25th of May is World Thyroid Day”. Shortly afterwards, we created a logo, and decided that the first WTD would be celebrated in 2008.

It was also decided to send an application to the UN, to have May 25th put on the list of “World … days” – but as TFI, at this date, was no stand-alone organization, only a subgroup of TFC in Canada, this request was not accepted.

So, TFI never officially organized this “world thyroid day”, as a worldwide event – but various member organizations have events at this date all over the world. It has also been adopted by professional Endocrinology organization as well.

In their newsletter published in March 2008, the ETA announced the first “European Thyroid Day” on May 25th, 2008.

At the same time, the date of May 25th celebrates the creation of the ETA (created on May 25th, 1965, who celebrated it’s 40th anniversary on May 25th, 2005).

“European THYROID DAY – May 25th

May 25th has been designed as the anniversary of the European Thyroid Association, founded in Rome, May 25th, 1965, and in 2005 the ETA celebrated at the Jubilee Meeting in Athens, 40 years of excellence in clinical and experimental research. 

We therefore propose the designation of May 25th as European Thyroid Day in the context of a number of several international efforts to implement a World Thyroid Day. 

We strongly encourage all nationally or regionally based thyroid groups and networks in Europe to organise meetings on May 25th with the public, patients and media, in order to draw attention to thyroid-related problems and increase the visibility of the ETA.”

-The ETA Public Affairs Board, March 2008

In 2009, the ETA created a special logo

The Logo of the European Thyroid Day – 25th May 

On the occasion of the European Thyroid Day, the Public Affairs Board of the ETA has produced in Athens a logo with the aim of increasing visibility and requesting the active participation of all who are involved in clinical and experimental thyroidology, sure of their continued commitment and dedication to all our thyroid patients. 

We sincerely hope that the logo is to your liking and trust that it will offer additional inspiration to us for the celebration of this special day, one that hopefully will further stimulate both political and public interest in thyroid disease, the most common endocrine disease worldwide, while simultaneously promoting the ETA. 

Leonidas Duntas , on behalf of the Public Affairs Board

Then ETA and ATA then decided to name the event the “World Thyroid Day”, instead of “European Thyroid Day”.

ATA press statement, 2010 :

“Newswise — The American Thyroid Association, in cooperation with its sister associations the world over, supports World Thyroid Day, May 25, 2010, marking it as a day to promote awareness and understanding of thyroid health and the advances made in treating thyroid diseases.
World Thyroid Day was established in 2008 as part of a campaign led by the European Thyroid Association (www.eurothyroid.com) and the American Thyroid Association (www.thyroid.org) to emphasize the prevalence of thyroid diseases, to focus on the urgent need for education and prevention programs and to increase awareness of new treatment modalities.”

ATA press statement, 2011 :

(Press release from the American Thyroid Association) — The American Thyroid Association, in cooperation with sister international thyroid societies, the European Thyroid Association, the Asia & Oceania Thyroid Association, and the Latin American Thyroid Society recognizes the 4th Annual World Thyroid Day, May 25, 2011. 

Established in 2008, World Thyroid Day highlights five major goals to:
Increase awareness of thyroid health,
Promote understanding of advances made in treating thyroid diseases,
Emphasize the prevalence of thyroid diseases,
Focus on the urgent need for education and prevention programs, and
Expand awareness of new treatment modalities.”

ETA press statement, 2010

ETA press statement, 2011

The ETA press statements mention the International Thyroid Awareness Week, created by TFI.

In 2008, TFI started to discuss with Merck-Serono, about the creation of an entire “International Thyroid Awareness Week” – it was decided have this in May, during the week foloowing the World Thyroid Day. This was announced during a press conference at the 11th European Congress of Endocrinology in Istanbul, in April 2009.

The first International Thyroid Awareness Week took place in May 2009 (25th to 31th).

A website was created, www.thyroidweek.org – each year, a special thyroid issue is put forward (in 2010, “Pregnancy/ children”, in 2011 “Nodules and goiter”), with downloadable brochures, posters, videos etc, and all documents remain visible on the website (updated every year).

The campaign is endorsed by the European Thyroid Association (ETA), the American Thyroid Association (ATA), the Latin-American Thyroid Society (LATS), the Asia and Oceania Thyroid Association (AOTA), the Chinese Society of Endocrinology (CSE) and the Chinese Society of Nuclear Medicine (CSNM).