Haemophilia is a rare disorder in which the blood does not clot in the typical way because it does not have enough blood-clotting proteins (clotting factors). A haemophilia patient might bleed for a longer time after an injury than people whose blood clots properly. The disease often affects men more than women.
Small cuts usually are not much of a problem. If someone has a severe form of the condition, the main concern is bleeding inside his or her body, especially the knees, ankles and elbows. Internal bleeding can damage a patient’s organs and tissues and also be life-threatening.
Haemophilia is almost always a genetic disorder. Treatment includes regular replacement of the specific clotting factor that is reduced. Newer therapies that do not contain clotting factors are also being used.
However, SMHF is working with the World Federation of Haemophilia (WFH) to combat the disease in The Gambia.
Vandy Jayah, SMHF executive director said the foundation aimed at sensitising Gambians, especially health personnel on haemophilia causes and treatment.
“I have researched and discovered that this disease exists in the country, and now I have formed a foundation aimed to sensitise the public on the disease,” he said.
ED Jayah said following the establishment of the foundation, he and other healthcare officers went abroad to train on how to manage and treat haemophilia patients, adding that the foundation has also provided a haemophilia machine to Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) to test and help in treating patients.
This, he said, stopped Gambians from going to Dakar, Senegal for haemophilia treatment and now get treated at the EFSTH.
The trainer said there are three types of haemophilia including haemophilia A, classic haemophilia B and Christmas haemophilia C.
Alhagie Alamu, health personnel at Kafuta Community Clinic described the forum as very significant to participants. He justified that healthcare officers are hardly trained on haemophilia in the country.
“This is my first training with regards to haemophilia and therefore, I urged stakeholders to promote such training because this is something that will help us as health workers know much about haemophilia,” he said.
The health personnel further said that the training would pay dividend in the near future.
Similar trainings were held at Fajikunda, Bakau and Serrekunda health centres on 12th, 14th and 21st of October 2021 respectively.