By Mohammad Ibrahim
Kaduna ( Nigeria) – Haemophilia Foundation of Nigeria has called on the media to assist in projecting the plight of people with haemophilia, as well as enlighten citizens on the best way to support people with bleeding disorders.
Haemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder where a person lacks the ability to form a clot after an injury, be it internal or external. The inability to form the clot is as a result of a missing protein “factor” in the person’s blood which is responsible for blood clotting. When a haemophiliac is injured, the person bleeds continually until he gets the missing factor transfused into them.
Speaking at a Media Forum to mark 2015 International Haemophilia Day in Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria, Executive Director of the Foundation, Megan Adediran said the call is with a view to drawing attention of relevant stakeholders towards ensuring a better environment for haemophiliacs.
Adediran said one of their major challenges is the inability of government to provide support to haemophiliacs, adding that the vision of the Foundation was to ensure that each person living with bleeding disorder lives a normal life.
She explained that Haemophilia is quite rare as only 1 in 10,000 people are born with the disorder.
” Haemophilia is not contagious because it is passed on through a parent’s gene. Although 30 percent of people with haemophilia did not get it through their parents. It is caused by a change in the person’s own genes, which is called “Mutation”. She said
National Secretary of the Foundation, Victor Adegbesan said there are currently only 213 identified and registered people with bleeding disorders in the country out of the expected 17,000 cases – attributing the low number to lack of awareness about the condition among Nigerians.
“Part of our work and successes is improving clinicians knowledge through training: with the support of the World Haemophilia Foundation (WHF), and local professional we have provided training to 523 health care providers on diagnosis and management of persons living with haemophilia.
“We have been lobbying for government support through advocacy by meeting with agencies and representatives of government at various levels. We have also been advocating support for persons with bleeding disorders living in Nigeria,” he said.