Free bone marrow registry at B'lore Medical College

A free bone marrow registry will come up at the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) to mark its diamond jubilee. Initially, the registry will have HLA typing data of 10,000 registered donors.

The registry would be started with funds from the Bangalore Medical College Development Trust (BMCDT) and the Infosys Foundation. The BMCDT will do the HLA typing free of charge, its chairman Dr K M Srinivasa Gowda told reporters here on Tuesday.

“In India, it is estimated that 1.3 lakh people need to undergo bone marrow transplants every year. But only about 500 can afford it. Just the HLA typing costs Rs 10,000-15,000,” he explained. To have donors registered, camps would be conducted in other districts and states, he added.

Having begun the process in April, the registry now has as many as 6,000 donors. The BMCDT aims to have 10,000 of them on the list by January. The Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology is set to have a bone marrow transplant unit. A similar one has been proposed at the BMCRI.

“Transplant surgery is expensive. We will build another unit at our own expense. Sudha Murty has also agreed to donate funds to this. With this, the cost of surgery which is between Rs 30 and 60 lakh can be reduced to Rs five lakh,” said Dr Gowda. “We are requesting the State government to provide funds to make the bone marrow transplant unit continuously operational.”

To mark the BMCRI’s diamond jubilee, India Post is bringing out a commemorative postal cover. A Continuing Medical Education (CME) programme will be held from December 25 to 27.

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