By Mohammad Ibrahim and Iliya Kure
Kaduna (Nigeria) – Haemophilia Foundation of Nigeria (HFN) have expressed concern that more than 90% of people with bleeding disorders in the country have not yet been identified.
Executive Director of the Foundation, Megan Adediran said by Nigeria’s population of 160 million people, about 160, 000 Nigerians are living with bleeding disorders – one in every 10,000 population lives with a bleeding disorder.
“With a total of I60 million Nigerians we are talking of about 160,000 people suffering from bleeding disorders. Therefore, Nigerians need to know more about the disease because there are lot of people out there with it but they don’t know,” she said.
According to her, most Nigerians are ignorant of the disorder, hence attributing its sign and symptoms to ‘juju’.
She disclosed this at a Free Haemophilia Testing Programme organised by the Foundation in Kaduna, northern Nigeria.
Adediran explained that there was the need for people to be more sensitised on the disorder so as to manage it well.
According to her, the free testing programme follows an awareness campaign by the Foundation in Rigasa community, in Kaduna, where more people with suspected Haemophilia cases attended.
“We discovered about a hundred people with the disorder in Rigasa community and we decided to organize a free haemophilia testing to people, so as to identify more suspected cases in the community and the state,” she said.
She said the expectation of the Foundation was to discover some of the unidentified people with the disorder, because the treatment of the disease is expensive – the Foundation gives ‘factors’ free of charge to haemophiliacs.
Haemophilia is a rare blood disorder caused by an inherited gene. People with haemophilia lack one of the essential protein factors responsible for blood clotting.
Its symptoms includes bleeding for long period after a cut, or removing a tooth, or circumcision, or after surgery. In some cases, it is a sudden bleeding inside the body for no clear reason; bleeding into muscles and joints especially knees, elbows and ankles.
Haemophilia cannot be cured, but can be managed for the people with the disorder to live a near normal life.
In its management, the missing clotting ‘factor’ is injected into the blood stream to stop the bleeding.