AS the world marked haemophilia day, 97 per cent of people with the disease do not know if they have it or have never been tested.
Haemophilia is a bleeding disorder mostly inherited genetic disorder that impairs the body’s ability to make blood clots, a process needed to stop bleeding.
The disorder is deemed as a silent killer.
This was said in Dar es Salaam yesterday by a Haematologist at the Muhimmbili National Hospital (MNH), Dr Stella Rwezaura, during a one day training to journalists on the disease. Dr Rwezaura said among 10,000 Tanzanians one suffers from Haemophilia.
It is also estimated that 5,400 people have the disease in the country but only 100 patients have been registered for treatment at MNH. “More advocacy for the disease is needed for those who have experienced symptoms of a bleeding disorder to get screened for thedisease,” she said.
She further said among the challenges facing Tanzania in containing the disease was shortage of medical equipment and few diagnostic centres that include MNH, Bugando Medical Centre and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC).
According to World Federation Haemophilia,å about 400,000 people in the world are living with the disease of whom only 25 per cent are getting medical treatment and 75 per cent do not receive treatment. Haemophilia can cause people bleeding longer after an injury, easy bruising, and an increased risk of bleeding inside joints or the brain.
Those with mild disease may only have symptoms after an accident or during surgery.
On the symptoms of the disease she said, include swelling, pain and stiffness in knees and ankles, aches and problems while moving muscles, blue patches on the body, bleeding for a long time, prolonged bleeding after tooth/teeth extraction and from cuts.
The doctor åfurther said: “The joints of patients get damaged and it becomes difficult to carry on normal daily life activities,” suggesting.
“If patients are experiencing acute pain, then they should elevate their limbs so as to reduce swelling, apply ice or any cold items to reduce pain, give rest to joints and should opt for hospital-based treatment.”