BMC-run Thalassemia centre completes first bone marrow transplant on 12-year-old

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) successfully completed the first bone marrow transplant at its new centre in Borivali. In a press briefing, Dr. Mamta Manglani, director of the centre, said they transplanted bone marrow of a five-year-old.

The transplantation was done free of cost by the BMC. “The approximate expenditure for the transplant costs around Rs 10-12 lakh whereas in private hospitals, it can go as high as Rs 20 lakh,” said Manglani. The cost is procured through various donors as well as through Chief Minister’s fund.

The civic body-run Comprehensive Thalassemia Care, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and BMT Centre is a super-speciality hospital for children with cancer and other blood disorders including Thalassemia started in 2017. Vihaan Dhepe, 5, received marrow stem cells from his elder sister, 11, who had a complete human leukocyte antigen (HLA) match with him. He was brought to the Borivali centre last year when he was diagnosed with Thalassemia.

“He underwent a process for almost a year after which the infusion was done on June 25 this year and was discharged a week later. The boy is now free of Thalassemia and doesn’t require any more transfusions,” Manglani said. Bone marrow transplantation is a difficult procedure and requires stringent isolation facilities. The centre apparently has international standard facilities that fulfills all requirements.

Another 12-year-old, Apurva Sanadi, having severe Aplastic Anemia was also successfully treated at the centre. “She required red blood cell and platelet transfusions regularly. She received Blood Stem Cells from her 9-year-old brother, whose HLA also matched completely with her,” Manglani stated. Sanadi was treated on July 18 and was discharged on August 3 and is now maintaining her hemoglobin, white blood cells and platelets.As of now, the centre has one more child waiting to undergo the transplant. “We have to take it slow and increase the number eventually. There are 13 patients that are streamlined in the process,” Manglani concluded.

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