About 4,000 people in Kenya have hereditary genetic blood disorders such as haemophilia, a medical expert had said. “Mostly boys are at high risk of contracting the disease due to inheritance of an X chromosome from the mother,” Festus Njuguna said
Njuguna is the secretary of the Kenya Haemophilic Association. He said only 300 to 400, or less than 10 per cent of the number, have been diagnosed and registered.
Njuguna spoke at a function to mark the World Haemophilia Day at the Kenyatta National Hospital. Haemophilia is a group of hereditary genetic disorders that impair the body’s ability to control blood clotting, which is used to stop bleeding when a blood vessel is broken. Hundreds of patients and well-wishers marched from KNH to Kenya Medical Training College to mark the day. Njuguna, a paediatrician, said most of the cases are not reported as many parents are unaware of the symptoms.
“The condition should be discovered when a child is born, during crawling and circumcision,” he said. Njuguna said babies at the crawling stage are at high risk of getting injuries on their knees. The doctor said this leads to most of them being deformed and eventually using wheelchairs. Njuguna said one in 10 children worldwide is haemophilic.