DKMS BMST Foundation India, Rotary District 3291 unite to raise awareness on Thalassemia

DKMS BMST Foundation India, Rotary District 3291 unite to raise awareness on Thalassemia

Kolkata: DKMS BMST Foundation India collaborated with the Rotary Club of Calcutta Visionaries (RI Dist 3291) to organise a seminar to raise awareness about the significance of blood stem cell transplantation and motivate young individuals to register as potential lifesavers, in Kolkata.

A stem cell donor registration drive was also organised by DKMS-BMST in association with E-YUVA Centre (Supported by BIRAC) where more than 250 students registered as potential stem cell donors.

Thalassemia is widespread in our country, and more than 10,000 children are born with the disease every year. Thalassemia is a genetic condition in which a defect in the protein haemoglobin reduces the transport capacity for oxygen in the blood.

Patients suffering from the disease can be cured with a stem cell transplant, ideally at an early age. The need for transplants in children is, therefore, extremely high.

However, only 30% of patients needing a stem cell transplant can find HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen-tissue type) matching donors within their families.

More than 70% of patients are looking for unrelated donors, but due to a lack of awareness, only 0.09% of the Indian population is registered as potential stem cell donors.

Given the significance of ethnic matching, the probability of Indian patients finding a suitable stem cell donor is significantly higher when seeking donors among fellow Indians.

Talking about the DKMS-BMST Thalassemia program, Patrick Paul, CEO, DKMS BMST Foundation India, said, “It is our mission to support blood cancer and other blood disorders such as Thalassemia patients in India, for which we have launched the DKMS-BMST Thalassemia program.”

Patrick Paul said, “Our objective, in collaboration with Rotary District 3291, is to enhance awareness about blood stem cell donation amongst various sections of the society.”

Rtn Deepak Agarwal, President, Rotary Club of Calcutta Visionaries, said, “As an organisation, we take great pride in being part of an initiative that raises public awareness about the significance of registering as a blood stem cell donor and its profound impact on a patient’s life.”

Today, thousands of Indian patients are waiting for their matching stem cell donor to undergo a lifesaving stem cell transplantation. Their situation can only be changed by recruiting many potential blood stem cell donors from India.

Eligible person can register as a blood stem cell donor by ordering home swab kit at

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