BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital Organizes Stem Cell Donation Drive

  • In collaboration with DKMS BMST Foundation India & BGS Global Institute of Medical Sciences
  • 300+ potential stem cell donors participated in the drive

Bangalore, May 28, 2022: Today, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital organized a stem cell donation drive at BGS Global Institute of Medical Sciences campus in collaboration with DKMS BMST Foundation India, a non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against blood cancer. The hospital will be listed as an official stem cell collection centre. Through this drive, the hospital aims at spreading awareness on lifesaving treatments for patients with blood cancers like leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma or blood disorders like Thalassemia or aplastic anaemia. The drive saw over 300 potential stem cell donors register with DKMS-BMST. Officials from the hospital and DKMS-BMST appealed to the gathering to encourage more volunteers to register as stem cell donors which would benefit thousands of Indian patients in need of a lifesaving stem cell transplant.

In India, every 5 minutes someone is diagnosed with a form of blood cancer or other blood disorder. Many patients cannot survive without a lifesaving stem cell donation and lose valuable time in search of a matching donor. A patient’s chances of survival significantly improve with finding a suitable donor early on.

Patients and donors of Indian origin have unique HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) characteristics that are severely under-represented in the global database, which makes the probability of finding a suitable donor even more difficult. This increases the need for more people of Indian ethnicity to register themselves as a potential stem cell donor and help save a life.

Dr Govind Eriat, Consultant – Haematology & BMT Medicine, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital said “At our hospital, we have a busy Haematology Hemato-Oncology and bone marrow transplant department catering to the varied blood related disorders largely from our catchment areas of rural Bangalore to Mysore.

Patients with acute leukemias and non-cancerous disorders like thalassemia, aplastic anemia and Sickle cell disease need a lifesaving allogeneic bone marrow or Stem cell transplant to help restore the bone marrow’s ability to produce blood cells normally once again and give a potential chance for a cure to an otherwise non curable disease. Stem cell donation is as simple as giving single donor platelets and is an extremely safe procedure without any long-term problems for the donor. Usually these stem cells will regrow in 6 weeks. With our focussed outreach and enthusiastic participation from the community, we are committed to finding a stem cell donor for every deserving Indian patient and break the taboos and myth shrouding the safety and showcase the impact of stem cell donation on the lives of the patients and their families.”

Out of the 39 million potential donors that are listed worldwide with stem cell donor centres and registries, only 0.04% of them are Indians. This makes it extremely hard for Indian patients to find matching donors.

“The need of the hour is to address this gap, which can be done if we can increase our donor registration base. The significantly low numbers of registration indicate the lack of awareness among the masses and multiple misconceptions existing amongst people about the process of blood stem cell transplant. It’s time to tackle these obstacles and encourage every individual to become a potential lifesaver”, said Patrick Paul, CEO, DKMS BMST Foundation India.

Biju Nair, Cluster COO, Gleneagles Global Hospital, Bengaluru, added “Due to the COVID pandemic, on boarding potential donors had substantially reduced across the country. This was a major setback for those patients that were waiting for a critical match with an unrelated donor. With COVID restrictions easing in the city, we decided to host this drive to encourage more donors to participate and to create awareness on how one can help blood cancer patients through this process. We have taken utmost care to ensure the safety of the team and the potential stem cell donors.”

To register as a potential stem cell donor, you must be a healthy Indian adult between 18 to 50 years of age. When you are ready to register, all you need to do is complete a consent form and swab the inside of your cheeks to collect your all-important tissue cells. Your tissue sample is then sent to the lab, to be analysed and listed anonymously on the international search platform provided by World Marrow Donors Association (WMDA).

About BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, Kengeri, Bengaluru:

BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital at Kengeri, Bengaluru is one of Karnataka’s most renowned multi-organ transplant and tertiary care multi-specialty hospital with a key focus on Gastroenterology, Cancer Care, Neurosciences, Renal Sciences and Cardiac Sciences. The NABH and NABL accredited hospital operate 450 beds. A modern Cath Lab, 6 operation theatres, advanced imaging services (Trubeam STX and Tesla MRI) offer cutting edge emergency and critical care management following internationally approved clinical protocols.

Over one and a half decade years of clinical excellence has earned the hospital tie-ups with all major cashless health insurance players and is the preferred choice hospital by all major corporates in the neighbourhood. The hospital also offers Video Consult services to its patients in India, Africa, and SAARC nations.

BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital is a part of IHH Healthcare, one of the world’s largest healthcare providers. With its full spectrum of integrated services, dedicated people, reach and scale, and commitment to quality and safety, IHH aspires to be the world’s most trusted healthcare services network, united by a single purpose: to touch lives and transform care.

About DKMS BMST Foundation: DKMS BMST Foundation India is a non-profit organization is committed to the cause of fighting blood cancer and helping blood cancer and blood disorder patients in India, get a second chance at life. So far, in India, they have registered over 60,000 potential blood stem cell donors and helped 60 patients in getting successful stem cell transplants.

Media contact:

Gayathri G, 8884424771, [email protected]

Chandru Banavi, 9742458630, [email protected]