grace poe
grace poe

Photo Credit: DZRH

SOON, hopefully very soon, Filipinos with Hemophilia, von Willebrand Disease (vWD) and other inherited bleeding disorders will finally get assistance from the government if the bill filed by Sen. Grace Poe few days ago is passed into law. 

The bill mandates the establishment of state-funded hemophilia treatment centers in Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.  This is long-overdue and a welcome development especially for us patients who perennially need treatments.

Ever since my daughter Isabel (aka Star) and I were diagnosed with vWD about seven years ago, our family has been actively advocating for people with bleeding disorders.  After all, this is a hereditary disorder and several members of my side of the family have been diagnosed with it.  My siblings and I became orphaned when we were mostly in our teens after our mother died of uncontrolled bleeding while undergoing surgery. She was only 51.

Isabel and I have been taking turns getting confined due to profuse bleeds. This year alone, I have received almost 200 bags of blood products.  Every time we undergo transfusion, I think of the safety of the blood product.

I have all the reasons to be afraid.  In May this year, the Department of Health admitted that they have monitored a staggering  increase in HIV-tainted blood donations — 114 bags from January to March from 71 bags during the same period last year.  That is a 62 percent increase for one quarter alone!

If the bill filed by Sen. Poe is enacted into law, we will finally be able to get access to safer treatments  such as factor concentrates which as of now, remains not affordable for most patients.

Also with the bill, patients will no longer have to endure — pardon the French — ignorant medical practitioners who do not have any idea how to handle bleeds of patients with Hemophilia and other bleeding disorders.  The establishment of Hemophilia Treatment Centers in four key cities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao may ease the suffering of patients as HTC doctors and nurses are trained to handle persons with bleeding disorders.

Of course, the filing of the bill is only the start of the struggle.  But it is a good start and I admire Sen. Poe for heeding the pleas of the Hemophilia community.  ##

For a copy of the bill, click on this link:  http://www.senate.gov.ph/lisdata/1957416693!.pdf

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About Andrea Echavez

I am an advocate for people with bleeding disorders. My daughter Star and I were diagnosed with von Willebrand's Disease Type 2M.

6 Comments

  • julio bagang culala jr. says:

    I am a person with Hemophilia A im 44 years old and still up to now suffering from bleeding Hopefully sana maipasa malaking tulong para sa mga katulad ko lalong lalo na sa mga mahihirap na mahirap makaavail ng gamot para dito.

  • eric says:

    my son kieth a nine year old child is now blind left eye because of internal bleeding ,he suffered a lot from his severe hemopilia a, may the govrment help us, mas nahihirapan kaming mga parents.

  • let’s help raise awareness about our disorder and make lawmakers understand why this bill is important. we may have chronic, lifelong disorders but we are/can be productive members of the society. lack of access to proper treatment has unnecessarily caused us so much pain and loss. :(

  • Nina says:

    I have son hemophiliac we are tearfully thankful if this happen in our country, blessed those people who think the sick person.

  • Rey P. Jarmin says:

    We are all hemophilia in a family, my two brothers are gone 2 years ago, with this bill you can help us to extend our lives.. pls support this law for we be able to undergo a treatment efficiently and effectively.

  • romeo says:

    Please god, touch the heart of in charge person who will approved by this law.