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"Cost of autologous stem cell transplant in Nepal is under $5000, and it is affordable. In contrast, it costs approximately $100,000 for a transplant in the US" Dr. Binay Shah, Binaytara Foundation
BELLINGHAM, WA, September 06, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Through the support of the Binaytara Foundation (BTF), the first bone marrow transplant in a government hospital in Nepal was performed on August 14, 2016 at the Civil Service Hospital located in Kathmandu. The blood and marrow transplant center in Nepal will serve not only the population of Nepal but also patients from neighboring countries.
BMT is a standard procedure for the treatment of blood cancers, genetic blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia or thalassemia, and diseases causing bone marrow failure such aplastic anemia. The procedure involves a multidisciplinary approach with the expertise and efforts of well trained physicians, nurses and allied healthcare professionals.
The transplant recipient is an 18-year old man suffering from aggressive lymphoma. The patient received a high dose of chemotherapy followed by an autologous transplant with his own cells. The patient was successfully discharged after complete recovery. Dr. Bishesh Poudyal, chief of clinical hematology and bone marrow transplant at Civil Service Hospital stated, "Cost of autologous transplant in Nepal is approximately 5000 US Dollar, and it is affordable for many patients who are in need of transplant. A total of 8 patients are waiting for transplant."
The idea of a BMT program in Nepal started when Dr. Damiano Rondelli (director of BMT at University of Illinois at Chicago) and Dr. Binay Shah, a Nepali-American oncologist and founder of Binaytara Foundation, visited the country in 2011. Upon meeting with local cancer physicians, it became clear that the development of a BMT center would help many Nepalese patients with blood disorders. BTF sponsored the training of the BMT team from Kathmandu, including two physicians and a nurse, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Currently, BTF is supporting the training in clinical genetics at the University of Colombo (Sri Lanka) of another physician who is expected to join the BMT team at Civil Service Hospital in 2017.
Binaytara Foundation (BTF) is an Illinois non-profit organization exempt from taxation pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. BTF charitable projects include bone marrow transplant center, hospice program, cancer screening, medical research grants in resource-poor communities. For more information on BTF projects, visit www.binayfoundation.org.
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