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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hemophiliac boy needs help

Hemophiliac boy needs help

I work in Pursat with Disability Development Services Pursat, a small organization

working with disabled people.

Sok Mao, one of our patients, is a bright, handsome 10-year-old boy from O Thkov

village, about 8 km from Pursat town. He suffers from the congenital disease type

A hemophilia, caused by a lack of the blood-clotting factor VIII.

Without this factor, hemophiliacs suffer from prolonged bleeding from even minor

cuts and injuries, as well as internal bleeding which can cause large, painful swelling

of joints and arthritis.

The disease is hereditary and affects only males in a family. One of Mao's uncles

has already died of the disease.

Hemophilia is a rare disease, with an estimated 800 to 1,000 cases in Cambodia.

Sok Mao's legs and arms are often swollen and painful due to the internal bleeding

and then he can't walk, which means he can't go to school. The more he misses out

on school, the fewer opportunities he will have in his future life. He also has frequent

bleeding from his ears and teeth.

Haemophilia is a rare disease and is expensive and difficult to treat anywhere in

the world.

As it affects so few people in Cambodia, it is not a priority for the government,

and donors are unwilling to meet the cost.

However, largely thanks to Dr Robyn Devenish in the Ministry of Health, awareness

about the disease is now increasing and we hope we can lobby for affordable treatment.

Because donors are unwilling to support such high treatment costs, we are hoping

to reach corporate charities, philanthropists, etc who may be interested to support

this boy.

As well as trying to raise money for Sok Mao's treatment, we would also like to raise

awareness about the disease in Cambodia.

Please get in touch if you'd like any more information.

Steve Harknett

Adviser, Disability Development Services Pursat (DDSP)

Phone 012 774840

email: ddsp@cambodiacic.org

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