The Haemophilia Foundation of Nigeria (HFN) on Thursday called for more training of clinicians and parents on the symptoms and management of haemophilia – a hereditary genetic disorder.
The HFN Executive Director, Mrs Buckie Adediran, said in Benin that many people were still ignorant of the disease.
She spoke at the HFN South-South National Medical Training held at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) with the theme: “Improving Clinicians’ Knowledge About Hemophilia”.
It was reports that hemophilia is a hereditary genetic disorder that impairs the body’s ability to clot blood.
It makes blood to clot much more slowly than normally, resulting in extensive bleeding from even minor injuries.
The disorder is linked to a recessive gene on the X-chromosome, and occurs almost exclusively in men and boys.
Adediran said that hemophilia was not only a `white man’s disease’ but could affect anybody.
“We have a population of people who are suffering from hemophilia in Nigeria; most of them are unattended to because people don’t really know what the disease is.
“I have two sons, who have hemophilia; this motivated me to form the foundation,” Adediran said.
A Consultant Haematologist in UBTH, Prof. Omolade Awodu, said: “Haemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder caused by a deficiency of either factor eight or factor nine in the blood.
“Haemophilia is inherited and linked to the X chromosome.
“Male children suffer the disease because their mothers who are carriers donate the X chromosome to them while female children become carriers.
“You may not have a family history of the disease, but the gene can undergo spontaneous mutation and a male child may come up with hemophilia.’’
The expert said that the symptoms of hemophilia included continuous bleeding after circumcision and bleeding without provocation.
Awodu said that such bleeding usually affected the joints and muscles and might cripple the limbs.
She said that the disease could be treated by giving patients the factor concentrates deficient in their blood.
According to her, what may be a total cure, known as the gene therapy, is still undergoing a study.
She also regretted that many people suffering from hemophilia could not have access to medical services due to lack of awareness.
A Consultant Hematologist in UBTH, Dr Nosakhare Bazuaye, urged clinicians to take family history of people before circumcising them to prevent them from bleeding to death.
also called for more research on the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.