SPMC logs 233 hemophilia patients since 2020

SPMC logs 233 hemophilia patients since 2020

AN OFFICIAL from the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) said there are around 233 diagnosed patients with hemophilia in Davao Region as of 2020.  

Dr. Jeannie B. Ong, chairperson of the Department of Pediatrics at SPMC and project director of Mindanao Hemophilia Center (MHC), who was a guest at Kapehan sa Davao at SM City Davao, said they have 30 to 40 regular pediatric patients in SPMC with hemophilia. 

She added their youngest patient at SPMC with hemophilia is a one-year-old child while the oldest patient is 68 years old. 

“In Davao for our population, ine-estimate ko meron akong mga 500 patients pero ngayon as of 2020 naka-identify na ako ng 233 patients ng hemophilia (In Davao for our population, I estimated around 500 patients but now as of 2020 I have identified 233 patients with hemophilia),” she said.

Ong added that some signs and symptoms of hemophilia include bruising in areas with pressure, gum bleeding, and bleeding in joints or muscles. She expressed that patients who are diagnosed with hemophilia can be catered to at SPMC and Brokenshire Medical Center.        

Currently, there are four hematologists treating hemophilia in the Davao Region. Two of them are at SPMC and the other one hematologist is practicing in a private hospital.

Ong shared that there are two types of hemophilia: Type A and Type B. Hemophilia A is having a deficiency of factor VIII, a clotting protein. On the other hand, hemophilia B is caused by low levels or defective clotting factor IX. 

Ong added that hemophilia patients are classified by severity which are mild, moderate, and severe.

People diagnosed with Hemophilia are given factor VIII concentrates for those who have Hemophilia A and factor IX concentrates for those with Hemophilia B, as their treatment when there is bleeding. Ong stressed that a vial of factor concentrates with 250 International Units (IU) will cost around P6,000.

In 2023, more than 100 patients with Hemophilia had benefited from free factor concentrates from SPMC while 35 beneficiaries availed of the factor concentrates from the City Health Office (CHO). Ong said that previously, the CHO provided factor concentrates to Dabawenyos with Hemophilia. But for 2024, the office said it has no more budget to purchase it.

“Ngayon po hanggang last year pero ngayon wala po tayong budget daw so we are asking the City Health to purchase agad kasi meron administrative order yun sa councilors natin na dapat they are going to purchase every year (Currently and even last year there is still no factor concentrates given by the office so we are asking the City Health to purchase it immediately because we have an administrative order from our councilors that they should purchase every year),” she said.

Ong said that the World Federation of Hemophilia, a non-government organization based in Montreal, Canada, provides factor concentrates to 14 government hospitals and one of these hospitals is SPMC. The provision is through the Department of Health (DOH) going to SPMC. However, this year there are still no factor concentrates that arrived at SPMC. 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) described Hemophilia as a condition in which people’s blood clots more slowly because they lack a certain clotting factor. This increases the likelihood of bleeding, which can cause organ and joint damage. It is often hereditary and far more common in men than in women.  

SPMC celebrates the month of April as Hemophilia Awareness Month and April 17 as World Hemophilia Day. Almer Kaye Aguadera/DNSC Intern with reports from RGP

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