The Chairman, Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr Edamisan Temiye, says that one million Nigerians live with haemophilia, a genetic bleeding disorder arising from faulty clotting mechanism.
Temiye made the statement on Tuesday in Lagos during activities to mark the the 2012 World Haemophilia Day (WHD).
He said that most of the afflicted were ignorant of symptoms of the disease.
“The NMA and the Haemophilia Foundation of Nigeria (HFN) are working to bridge the gap between afflicted individuals and the government, so that people living with the disorder can begin to get adequate care.
“In the developed countries, people living with the disorder are well treated and are not restricted from activities, unlike in Nigeria where such people are usually restricted to avoid excessive bleeding,” he said.
According to him, haemophilia is an inherited, excessive bleeding disorder, which afflicts individuals without enough clotting factor.
He said that it occurred more in male than in female, saying that one in 10,000 males lived with it, as against one in 100,000 females.
He explained that treatment and management of the disease was very expensive, adding that government ought to support such individuals for them to live normal lives.
“A dose of the treatment costs N75,000 and a person may need between 10 to 50 doses, to be able to manage the disorder.
“We give the dose every 12 hours, till the bleeding stops and one can imagine a person bleeding and the parents spending N1 million every 10 days for managing the disorder,” he said.
The Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of HFN, Mr Nick Madueke, urged individuals, corporate bodies and the government to support people living with the disorder.
Madueke said that this year’s theme which is “Close the Gap,” was to sensitise everybody, including corporate bodies and the government, to the disorder.
“It is sad to know that the awareness level among Nigerians is less than five per cent.
“We will be losing vital resources which could help to develop this country, unless the government steps in to help support such individuals,” he said.
Madueke described patients as delicate to handle, adding that the country needed a standardised way of identifying them at places such as accident scenes, as well as in other emergencies.
“We need to get the legislature to protect them with identification cards, so that during emergencies, such people will be rushed to hospitals.”
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