Saturday, March 17, 2012

S'pore Cord Blood Bank urges more mothers to donate cord blood

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Cord Blood Bank has facilitated more than 100 unrelated cord blood transplants since it was formed.

Since its official opening in 2005, the bank has received more than 8000 multi-ethnic cord blood units.

It hopes to boost the number of units to at least 10,000 by the end of 2014.

This will increase the success rate for a suitable match to 80 per cent from the current 40 to 60 per cent.

The bank is now urging more mothers to come forward to donate their cord blood, in particularly, ethnic minorities.

The bank's Medical Director, Dr William Hwang, explains: "Your greatest chance of finding a stem cell donor for transplantation is actually from your own ethnicity. Because of that, it's important to have donors of the same ethnicity in order to benefit the patients. It can really make a difference when a person has no other choice, no other chance of survival or no other chance of cure, Not only can you give life to your own baby, you can, in addition, give life to someone else as well."

One donor described it as a simple and effective way to save a life.

"It was very abstract to me when I first donated. But to see an actual recipient who has benefited from cord blood, it really touched me. It really made me realise it does make a difference. It is the beauty of birth, the beauty of having a child and you should share that joy with others by giving hope to other people who may be suffering," said Mandy Loh.

The current chances of finding a match amongst siblings are one in four.

And due to a lack of donors with Asian lineage, only 20 to 35 per cent of Asians world-wide are able to find a suitable match.

- CNA/fa

View the original article here

Source From Channel News Asia

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