Kharagpur: DKMSBMST Foundation India conducted a stem cell donor registration drive at ‘Springfest’ 2024, at IIT Kharagpur’s annual cultural and social festival to boost awareness and register potential donors.
As Springfest’s official social initiative partner, DKMS-BMST set out to encourage students to become potential lifesavers by enlisting in the global registry of stem cell donors. The response was overwhelming, with 320 students registering and expressing their commitment to this noble cause.
In India, where over 70,000 individuals succumb to blood cancer annually, constituting 8% of new cancer cases, a blood stem cell transplant from an HLA-matching donor is a crucial lifeline. Only 25-30% of patients secure matching donors within their family, leaving 70% reliant on unrelated donors accessible through stem cell registries.
Ethnic matching significantly boosts Indian patients’ chances. Every five minutes, a new case of blood cancer is diagnosed in India, posing a challenge due to the limited availability of matching donors. Despite over 41 million global donors, India contributes just 0.6 million, emphasizing the need to motivate young individuals to register.
Patrick Paul, CEO, DKMS BMST Foundation India, said, “The availability of matching blood stem cell donors remains a significant challenge for Indian patients in need of life-saving transplants. India has the youngest population, so it is crucial to encourage more young individuals to register as stem cell donors. We aim to amplify blood stem cell donation awareness through students and youth, as they represent the nation’s future.”
Patrick Paul, said, “We sincerely thank IIT Kharagpur and its dedicated students for their invaluable assistance in organizing this registration drive. DKMS-BMST is dedicated to conducting similar awareness and registration campaigns across educational institutions nationwide, with a special emphasis on the youth demographic.”
Steering Committee Chairperson, Springfest 2024 IIT Kharagpur, Professor Rudra Prakash Pradhan, said, “IIT Kharagpur is thrilled about the partnership with DKMS-BMST for Springfest 2024. We appreciate their significant efforts in supporting blood cancer and disorder patients. Our collaboration aims to raise awareness and register more stem cell donors.”
To register as a potential stem cell donor, one must be a healthy Indian adult between 18 and 55. Today, thousands of Indian patients are waiting for their matching stem cell donor to undergo a lifesaving stem cell transplantation.
The situation can only be changed by recruiting many potential blood stem cell donors from India. If you’re eligible, take the first step to register as a blood stem cell donor by ordering your home swab kit at www.dkms-bmst.org/register.