The Khyber Medical University (KMU) in collaboration with Quaid-e-Azam International Hospital (QIH), Islamabad, organised a one-day awareness symposium on bone marrow transplant (BMT) here.
Distinguished bone marrow transplantation experts like Prof. Dr. Salman Adil from Agha Khan University Karachi, Major Gen. Tang Mehmood Satti from Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Major Gen. (Retd.) Parvez Ahmed from Quaid-e-Aram International Hospital Islamabad, Brigadier Syed Kamran Mehmood from Armed Forces Bone Marrow Transplant Centre, Dr. Alia Zaidi and Asst. Prof. Dr. Yasir from KMU-IBMS spoke at the event held at the KMU-Multi Purposes Hall.
The experts stressed the need for good quality bone marrow transplant centres, better control of infections and increasing funding for bone marrow transplant in Pakistan. The exports shared that in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, thalassaemia and blood cancers were not only very common, but the treatment facilities of these diseases were very rare and expensive.
The experts pointed out that so far over 15 hundred BMT have been performed in Pakistan and the main problem was shortage of donors besides financial constraints as well as human resources.
The experts said that BMT started in 1980's and now millions of bone marrow trans-plants are performed all over the world. “Most of these BMTs are autologous but in Pakistan most of the BMTs are allogeneic. We have five centres doing BMT In Pakistan. About ten thousand patients, 50 percent of which are children, need bone marrow transplant every year.
The experts expressed that majority of the patients having BMT in the world are over 50 years of age, where as in Pakistan thalassaemia patients’ average life is up to 15-25 years. So, we need to focus more on patients who are under twenty five years of age which makes it 50 percent of the population.