Cameroon: World Hemophilia Day - Population Schooled On Treatment Mechanisms

Sensitisation activities to commemorate the day end today in Yaounde.

Hemophilia is a disease that prevents the blood from clotting after an injury, meaning that a sufferer simply bleeds on and on, something that can easily cause serious health consequences, or even death. If you do not know much about this serious medical condition, this is the perfect time to change that and help make the world just a little bit better.

This is the major message; members of the Cameroon Association of Hemophilia have been passing across as they join the world to commemorate the World Hemophilia Day, today on the theme: "Screening: The Beginning of Treatment." From April 10 to today, members of the Cameroon Association of Hemophilia have shed some light on a condition that is still unknown to many while finding ways to help hemophiliacs who may feel all alone with their problems, or simply lack the financial means necessary to keep their illness under control.

Statistics from the World Federation of Hemophilia indicate that the disease occurs in about one out of every 5,000 male births. Hemophilia affects people from all racial and ethnic groups. Medical personnel say hemophilia is caused by a mutation or change, in one of the genes, that provides instructions for making the clotting factor proteins needed to form a blood clot. This change or mutation can prevent the clotting protein from working properly or to be missing altogether.

These genes are located on the X chromosome. Males have one X and one Y chromosome (XY) and females have two X chromosomes (XX). Males inherit the X chromosome from their mothers and the Y chro mosome from their fathers. Females inherit one X chromosome from each parent. Signs and symptoms of hemophilia vary, depending on the level of clotting factors.

If clotting-factor level is mildly reduced, the person may bleed only after surgery or trauma. If the deficiency is severe, the individual may experience spontaneous bleeding. Information indicates that there are several types of hemophilia, and most forms are inherited. However, about 30 per cent of people with hemophilia have no family history of the disorder.

In these people, an unexpected change (spontaneous mutation) occurs in one of the genes associated with hemophilia. Experts say creating awareness helps those suffering from hemophilia acknowledge the significance of its treatment. Campaigns that have taken place in different health units have helped those suffering from the disease as well as the population to better understand how they can manage the illness.

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