How can one woman change the outlook for haemophilia care for a whole country? Medical laboratory scientist Robyn Devenish, winner of the Novo Nordisk Haemophilia Foundation Community Award 2011, has dedicated the last ten years to doing just that in Cambodia.
When Robyn left her native Australia to work as a volunteer in Cambodia’s Angkor Hospital, there were no known haemophilia patients in the country. Robyn established the country’s first diagnostic laboratory, developed practical and theoretical training programmes for laboratory technicians and translated patient information booklets into Khmer, the local language. In 2007, Robyn and her colleagues set up the Cambodian Haemophilia Association. Soon afterwards, Robyn instigated a national registry of all patients with bleeding disorders.
So far, 71 patients have been diagnosed in Cambodia - and the country is now equipped to help them, thanks to Robyn’s efforts.
“Her work and contributions are nothing short of a miracle,” says Yukio Ozaki, council member of the International Society on Thrombosis & Haemostasis (ISTH) and executive officer of the Asian-Pacific Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis (APSTH).