Bengaluru gets a new bone marrow transplant facility | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: At least 120 children suffering from thalassemia can hope for a fresh lease of life every year, thanks to a new bone marrow transplant (BMT) unit that was inaugurated on Wednesday in Bengaluru.
Sankalp India Foundation, an NGO that helped arrange blood transfusion for thalassemia patients, especially during the pandemic, has now taken a leap by establishing the BMT centre and lab at Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital. The new Rs 5.5-crore BMT unit was funded by DKMS, the Deutsche Knochenmarkspenderdatei or German Bone Marrow Donor Centre.
Bone marrow transplant is the only permanent solution for thalassemia and one transplant procedure costs over Rs 20 lakh. Sankalp has already organised bone marrow transplants for 15 children.
Padmavati, a mother of a seven-year-old who underwent a bone marrow transplant two years ago with help from Sankalp Foundation, said, “The foundation helped end years of pain and suffering for my son. He was diagnosed with thalassemia at the age of one and from then until the day he had the transplant, he was constantly in and out of the hospital for blood transfusions.”
She said post the transplant, her son has recovered well. “He did contract Covid-19 last year and we were worried, but he recovered well,” said Padmavati, who was present for the launch of the centre.
While patient’s families bore 10% of the cost, the rest was sponsored by Sankalp. Some beneficiaries are from other states. Statistics show one person in India is diagnosed with blood cancer or other blood disorders every five minutes. With over 42 million patients, India is known as the thalassemia capital of the world. While the demand for bone marrow transplant is high, there are few facilities that provide them.
“We will be able to treat about 120 children at the centre each year,” said Lalith Palmar, president, Sankalp India Foundation. “With some of the best infrastructure along with a dedicated team of highly trained specialists and expert international visiting consultants, will ensure that we deliver the best possible clinical outcomes for our patients. This centre, together with the one in Ahmedabad, will take the total number of beds available for transplantation to 14, thus enabling us to move forward to achieve our goal of a thalassaemia-free India.”

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Sagar Biswas

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