Focus on Haemophiliacs April 17

Health officials will focus on certain types of physical activity to prevent muscle and joint damage in haemophiliacs on World Haemophilia Day, April 17.
Haemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder that is caused by the absence or reduced amount of a particular clotting factor, and mainly affects males. There are currently some 300 persons in Jamaica living with the disorder.
Speaking to JIS News, Dr. Doreen Brady-West, Consultant Haemotologist at the University Hospital of the West Indies, explained that there were certain sporting activities that patients could pursue, which would not put then at increased risk of bleeding.
“The kinds of exercise that haemophiliacs can do are swimming, badminton, cycling and walking,” she said.Under the theme, ‘Improve Your Life: Physical Therapy’, the officials will also seek to educate patients and persons alike about preserving the function of muscles and joints, so as to limit the impairment of physical activity associated with living with the condition.
Impairment in physical activity will happen when there is not ready access to the clotting factors that are necessary to limit bleeding that may occur in patients, and this tends to lead to damage of joints and muscles.
“As long as the bleeding stays there untreated the more the damage,” she pointed out. “When this occurs, the quality of life of the person is severely hampered,” she added.
Apart from the observation of the day, which will involve public education at various medical facilities, a Clinical Pathological Conference dealing with joint disease in haemophiliacs will be held at the Main Lecture Theatre at the University Hospital of the West Indies on April 18, starting at 5:00 p.m. “It is based on our theme for this year . so we will be talking about orthopedic management of the joint problems that haemophiliacs experience,” she said. Interested persons are welcome to attend and admission is free.

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