By Gabriel Enogholase – Benin
A Benin based Medical Hospital, CELLTEK HEALTH MEDICAL CENTRE, has successfully performed the stem cell transplant of two sickle cell children ages 4 and 6 years by using their mothers’ (hyplo transplant) that are half matched with their hemoglobin.
Medical Director of the centre, Prof. Godwin Bazuaye who disclosed this in Benin yesterday while speaking on the latest feat by the hospital said that results from the operations have indicated that after 30 days of the transplant, “the children now have 100 percent of their mothers’ hemopoletic stem cells and are now changed from hemoglobin SS to AS like their mothers with no more crisis”
“We have also concluded plans to commence stem cell transplant for patients with sickle cell disease within ages of 20 and 40 years from next year to make this technology available to many Nigerians who are currently above 20 years that will require stem cell transplantation.
“The centre is currently equipped to carry out stem cell transplantation for all medical indications that that require stem cell transplantation including autologous stem cell transplant from multiple myeloma, lymphoma, stem cell transplant for leukemia and bone marrow failure.
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“We appeal to the government to pursue prevention by providing free quality genotype screening which will go a long way to reduce the high birth rate of 150,000 children with sickle cell per annum in Nigeria.
“Also, the government should make the enabling environment for private, public collaboration in the health sector to improve healthcare delivering in Nigeria by ensuring improved power supply, reduce interest rate for loans from banks and reducing the tariff for imported drugs will reduce the final cost of stem cell transplantation in Nigeria”.
Prof. Bazuaye also appealed to the government; the First Ladies in the country to sponsor stem cell transplanting, genotype screening saying that that it was cheaper to carry out the transplant in Nigeria, insisting that while it would cost about N3million to carry out a cell transplant in Nigeria, it will cost about N70million in Europe to perform the same operation.
He also advised the Nigerian government to build an international Stem Cell Transplant Centre in the country to save millions of Nigeria by those going abroad for what Nigerian Medical practitioners could do and discourage medical tourism.