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Local medical professionals go to Kenya to treat rare blood disorders



Indianapolis, Indiana – To assist a group of individuals with a rare blood disorder, a local healthcare team traveled abroad.

Hematologist Dr. Anthony Betbadal and physical therapist Stacie Akins traveled to Eldoret, Kenya, with a group from the Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center.

Dr. Betbadal is visiting Kenya for the fifth time, and he claims that from his experience, diagnosing men is simpler than diagnosing women.

“We’re now trying to collaborate with OBGYN group in Eldoret to try and screen women for blood disorders and try to find those that have blood disorders. Sickle Cell is fairly common. In the U.S., it affects one in 500 people, while in Kenya it’s one in 200,” Dr. Betbadal said.

Akins visits Kenya every year since 2012. It’s crucial to remember that blood abnormalities like hemophilia cause people to bleed in their joints, according to her.

“Our primary goal, in the beginning, was education, not only for our Kenyan team, but to be able to go out to other areas to provide that education. People just didn’t know about hemophilia at all,” Akins said.

Less than a thousand of the estimated 4,000 Kenyans who were born with hemophilia have received treatment as a result of a lack of adequate care.