A historical landmark has been achieved with first-ever bone-marrow transplantation in the country by Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) on Monday. It has certainly raised hope among the patients suffering from different types of blood cancer leukaemia and certain genetic blood and immune disorders like thalassemia, cancer of the lymphatic system, and severe aplastic anaemia.
So, such initiative by DMCH is undoubtedly admirable. At the same time, the newly inaugurated bone marrow transplant unit of Dhaka Medical should have some special arrangement to make confidence among the cancer patients.
Cancers were considered a time beyond any cure. It is now known curable if detected at an early stage. People’s ignorance about the various aspects of cancer i.e causes, symptoms and its prevention, control and treatment is primarily responsible to turn it into an epidemic form.
So steps should be taken not only focusing treatment. We call for an integrated arrangement for cancer care from prevention to treatment for the sake of our hard hit poor. We firmly believe in rendering medical services to poor and destitute people at free of cost.
Therefore, bone marrow transplant unit at DMCH is vital on that point. Besides, the country has to spend a remarkable amount every year for cancer treatment abroad which is now get it done at home for DMCH’s low cost cancer effort.
People can receive bone marrow transplants at a cost of Tk 5 lakh from DMCH while it usually takes Tk 90 lakh abroad, especially in South Asian countries, as per reports carried in different news papers on Tuesday.
Conditions that bone marrow transplants are used to treat include: severe aplastic anaemia (bone marrow failure), leukaemia – cancer of the white blood cells, non-Hodgkin lymphoma – cancer of the lymphatic system, certain genetic blood and immune system disorders – such as sickle cell anaemia, thalassaemia and some severe immune system conditions.
A bone marrow transplant has five stages – physical examination – to assess general health level, harvesting – process of obtaining the stem cells to be used in the transplant, conditioning – preparing the affected body for the transplant, transplanting the stem cells and recovery period – during which will be monitored for any complications or side effects.
Bone-marrow transplant requires a close genetic match between donor and recipient. To mitigate the donor crisis DMCH has already started a bone marrow registry, an undeniably wise initiative.
At the same time, DMCH should have increased its capacity to serve more patients. Preparing a national data base of cancer patient can be got priority under this procedure.
As bone morrow transplant is a techno-heavy treatment, therefore quality per excellence should be ensured. Doctors from senior to junior and from nurses to technician, every person involved in bone morrow transplant procedure must have a proper knowledge in this regard.
Primarily, according to reports, 20 nurses and 10 doctors got comprehensive training from USA for setting up a good clinical bone marrow transplant unit at DMCH.
There is an acute shortage of trained oncologists in Bangladesh- only 125 for more than 12,00,000 cancer patients working in both public and public clinical outlets. So, more cancer physician can be trained up under this bone morrow transplant unit to serve the nation at various corner of the country.
We wish the best success of DMCH Bone Morrow Transplant Unit and repeat our call as well in hope that this cancer corner of DMCH would have not been attacked by any cancer itself; rather it would be a relief for the destitute cancer patient.