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Italy supports Cure2Children’s bone marrow transplant unit in Pakistan

In 2008, C2C established a two-bed bone marrow transplant (BMT) unit at the Children Hospital of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad for the cure of non-affording children with thalassemia. This unit, the first one of this kind in a government hospital in Pakistan, is also performing screening and prevention in extended families. Professional costs have been initially bared by C2C whereas PIMS provided space as well as supportive facilities such us blood Bank, radiology, surgical and medical Units.
 
By November 20I0, the BMT unit at PIMS had already performed 20 BMT on non-affording thalassemia children thanks to financial support by C2C Italy and Pakistan Bait ul Mal. This BMT program has provided invaluable training for PlMS, a teaching hospital affiliated with both undergraduate and postgraduate nursing and medical colleges. As a result, PIMS has recently provided additional 3 BMT beds increasing the yearly BMT capacity from 15 to 30 transplants.
 
In December 2010, this project was acknowledged by the Pakistani government and received a long-term grant of 50 million PKR (approx. €450,000) for the Cure and Prevention of Thalassemia Major project, part of the Pakistani Italian Debt-for-development Swap Agreement (PIDSA).
 
As of June 2012 over 600 families have been registered and offered free screening; and a total of 80 children have undergone transplantation with results comparable to those obtainable in high-resource centers. However this high successes rate was obtained with a per-procedure-cost about ten times lower than that in rich countries. Additionally because local staff is now capable of conducting this cure locally with global standards of care, families to not have to leave their homes and villages to travel to Western countries for a cure. The family support program, still running, guarantees safe and adequate living conditions and an adherence to prescribed treatments after discharge from hospital for all patients and their loved ones.
 
In April 2013, PIDSA and Cure2Children Foundation has signed an agreement where a bridging grant will be provided to C2C to extend this project for 2013 by providing additional funds of PKR 35 million. This allocation will sustain the BMT unit at PIMS, the only one of this kind in a government hospital in Pakistan to offer transplantation to an additional 30 children with thalassemia as well as screening of their extended families.
 
The first aim of the project is to consolidate this network of private and governmental institutions applying bone marrow transplantation to the cure of thalassemia. The second aim is to offer free thalassemia screening and prevention to all first-degree relatives of thalassemic children enrolled in this program.
 
Click here to see the agreement signed between PIDSA and Cure2Children Foundation.

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Posted by: Cure2Children