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Experts for setting up quality bone marrow transplant centres.

PESHAWAR -- The Khyber Medical University (KMU), Peshawar in collaboration with Quaid-i-Azam International Hospital (QIH), Islamabad on Tuesday organised a daylong awareness symposium on bone marrow transplant (BMT) here.

BMT experts, including Prof Salman Adil from Aga Khan University Karachi, Maj-Gen Tariq Mehmood Satti from Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, retired Maj-Gen Parvez Ahmed from QIH, Brig Syed Kamran Mehmood from Armed Forces Bone Marrow Transplant Centre, Dr Alia Zaidi and Dr Yasir Yousafzai from KMU-IBMS spoke at the event.

The experts stressed the need for good quality BMT centres, better control of infections and increasing funding for BMT in Pakistan. They shared that in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, thalassaemia and blood cancers were not only very common but the treatment facilities were rare and expensive.

They pointed out that so far over 1,500 BMTs had been performed in Pakistan and the main problem was shortage of donors besides financial constraints and human resources.

The experts said that BMT started in 1980s and now millions of BMT's were performed all over the world.

Currently, five centres were performing BMTs in Pakistan against the requirement of 20 to 200 such centres, they pointed out, adding about 10,000 patients, 50 per cent of which children, needed BMT every year.

They said majority of BMT patients in the world were over 50 years of age, whereas in Pakistan thalassaemia patients' average life was up to 15-25 years.

So, they needed to focus more on patients under 25 years of age which made 50pc of the population.

The experts said that they needed to do over 10,000 BMTs every year.

It was stated that functioning of BMT facility at QIH Islamabad would provide an opportunity to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa patients in the coming days.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Feb 7, 2018
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