Hemophilia patients in Cameroon still reluctant to seek medical attention

An estimated 2,000 persons suffer from hemophilia in Cameroon but only about 200 of them seek medical attention, a study shows.

During celebrations marking the World Hemophilia Day on Monday, April 17, the hemophilia treatment centre in Yaounde said treatment options have greatly advanced “but many are still living in pain”.

Persons with the health condition suffer from excessive bleeding as their blood does not clot normally.

Prof. Dora Mbanya, the Director General of the National Blood Transfusion Centre gave an explanation of what the condition is during the celebration of the World Hemophilia Day on April 17.

“Hemophilia ‘A’ patients are those who lack factor 8 in their systems. So if they are bleeding, you need to replace factor 8 for coagulation to take place so that bleeding can stop. If they lack factor 9, you need to replace with factor 9,” Prof. Dora said. “The clotting factor deficiency requires that you replace the clotting factor. That’s what the treatment is about.”

The health expert indicated that the treatment has evolved from blood transfusion to the manufacturing of hemophilia factors which are simply injected into the patient.

“Before we got hemophilia factors manufactured in very early years, what happened was that blood was transfused,” Prof. Dora Mbanya noted, adding that, “you would find people taking old blood from one individual and transfuse but then the quantities of clotting factors inside were too small to cause any effective treatment to take place.”

Symptoms of the health condition usually include deep bruises, joint pain and swelling, as well as unexplained bleeding and blood in urine or stool.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

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