Bone Marrow Registry calls for registrations
The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the treatment of blood disorders and stem cell transplantations worldwide putting thousands of lives at risk.
The South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR) said they have seen a decline in local donor registration since the beginning of the pandemic. Dr Charlotte Ingram who is the medical director of the South African Bone Marrow Registry, attributes the decline to physical events that drive blood stem cell donor registrations that had to be cancelled because of the pandemic.
“Our number one priority is to protect our donors, potential donors and patients while continuing to offer a second chance of life to those who need it. Patients with blood disorders such as leukaemia and thalassaemia around the world are still in urgent need of blood stem cell transplants. The fewer donors we have the lesser the chance of finding a match,” said Ingram
The chance of finding a match a successful match is around one in 100 000.
“Only 30 percent of people are lucky enough to find donors in their family. The remaining 70% must look elsewhere for a match. In SA the registry is currently not reflective of demographics and unfortunately worldwide only 27% of donors are of colour, which makes finding a match more problematic,” she said.
The SABMR has stepped up their efforts by launching an online campaign which hopes to have 10 000 new volunteer donors before World Marrow Donor Day which is celebrated yearly on the 19th of September.
Picture: Western Cape Government