Indianapolis health care workers treat patients in Kenya with blood disorders – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center is the nation’s largest treatment center and in mid-April, a team of local healthcare workers traveled to Kenya to help patients suffering from bleeding and blood disorders.

For two weeks, IHTC healthcare workers treated 150 to 200 patients. They trained with local medical staff to treat hemophilia, a genetic disorder that prevents blood clots from forming after a wound. They also treated sickle cell disease, an inherited red blood cell disorder that also affects tens of thousands of Kenyans.

IHTC estimates there are more than 4,000 people in Kenya with hemophilia and because of a lack of diagnoses and appropriate care, fewer than 1,000 people have been diagnosed and are receiving treatment. A person living in the U.S. diagnosed with hemophilia can still lead a normal life, but that’s not the case for people living in Kenya.

Local experts say access to resources and public health programs, medical equipment, limited data and stigmas associated with rare blood diseases are some of the problems but IHTC is on a mission to spread more awareness about blood diseases and advocate on the behalf of people living there.

“There is still a lot of work to be done. Access to these diagnostic tools is one of the biggest areas that the program is also advocating and working with other organizations, pharmaceutical companies that are able to support these initiatives to have access to this equipment,” said Samuel Misiani Mbunya, IHTC relations coordinator.

The team also visited churches and communities to educate the population on the rare blood disease to offer additional support.

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