The proposal of such a centre, at a cost of about Rs.3.5 crore, was submitted to the district panchayat by the authorities at the Regional Blood Transfusion Centre at the Taluk hospital

A centre for comprehensive treatment of haemophilia has been sanctioned at the Taluk Hospital, Aluva, by the district panchayat.

Modelled on the centre at Christian Medical College, Vellore, the Aluva centre will be the first such complete centre in the State with diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation facilities. The proposal of such a centre, at a cost of about Rs.3.5 crore, was submitted to the district panchayat by the authorities at the Regional Blood Transfusion Centre at the Taluk hospital. National Rural Health Mission and Kerala State Medical Corporation Limited will also support the centre in various ways.

Haemophilia is a genetic disease caused due to the lack of an important factor in the blood that helps clotting. An injury results in unhindered bleeding unless they are provided the clotting factors. These factors are expensive and thus beyond the reach of many people.  The factor costs Rs.12 a unit and an average bleed would require clotting agents worth at least Rs.6,000. There are few centres in the State that provide care to haemophilia patients.

N. Vijayakumar, who has been named as the honorary medical officer of the haemophilia centre, told The Hindu that for many patients, getting cryoprecipitates provided free of cost from blood banks is the immediate solution, though it is not the best solution in the long run. Only approved centres for haemophilia treatment and the registered haemophilia societies get factors provided by the World Federation of Haemophilia.

So far, only four societies are active in the State and there are only two approved centres in the country — one at CMC, Vellore, and the other at St. John’s Hospital, Bangalore.

According to the World Health Organisation, about one in 5,000 people are haemophiliacs. But they usually go undetected as the symptoms come to the fore only when the blood factors are less than 5 per cent, said Dr. Vijaykumar, who is also the medical officer in-charge of the transfusion centre. Those who go undetected even when the blood factors are just above 5 per cent transmit the faulty genes to the next generation.

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