Fewer bone marrow transplant patients will seek treatment abroad, experts say at Abu Dhabi medical congress

Abu Dhabi: The variety of Abu Dhabi residents who seek bone marrow transplants overseas will be halved over the subsequent two years, as patients avail superior therapies and medical experience.

Abu Dhabi noticed its first donor paediatric bone marrow transplant solely final month, however the variety of such procedures carried out regionally is anticipated to continue to grow. “Abu Dhabi is at present distinguished by the applying of the best requirements used within the treatment of bone marrow transplantation, that are additionally adopted in [advanced] medical centres overseas. Providing these distinguished providers within the nation makes it simpler for us as specialists on this subject to supply look after patients, whereas additionally permitting them to remain near household and making certain psychological help. This additionally reduces prices in comparison with treatment overseas,” stated Dr Fatima Al Kaabi, director of the Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant Programme at the Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Center (ADSCC).

“During the subsequent two years, with the presence of bone marrow transplants for youngsters, we anticipate to cut back the request for treatment overseas for these instances by 50 per cent,” she added.

Dr Fatima Al Kaabi speaks at the primary Emirates Paediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Congress in Abu Dhabi.
Image Credit: Supplied

She was talking at the primary Emirates Paediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Congress, the place 2,500 experts are discussing advances and challenges within the subject.

UAE milestones

The UAE noticed its first bone marrow transplant in 2020 when a 49-year-old Pakistani with blood most cancers — Abdullah Muhammad — was supplied with the lifesaving treatment at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with ADSCC. The affected person, a father of 4, had stem cells harvested from his personal blood and injected again into him after he underwent a brief course of chemotherapy, in a process generally known as an autologous bone marrow transplant. Dr Al Kaabi had then known as it a ‘milestone for the UAE’, including that the nation quickly hoped to ‘maintain [its] personal’.

This April, a five-year-old lady from Jordana with sickle cell illness, obtained a transplant with bone marrow donated by her ten-year-old sister. The process was carried out at the Burjeel Medical City (BMC) and hailed as one other main milestone.

BMT congress-1653717636024
Experts mentioned the challenges with financing look after advanced paediatric situations.
Image Credit: Supplied

Patients come to UAE

Dr Zainul Aabideen, head of paediatric haematology and oncology guide at BMC, and chairman of the Congress, additionally detailed one other transplant that has been carried out since in Abu Dhabi. The recipient, three-year-old Iraqi Ahmed Al Uqabi with thalassaemia, had travelled to the UAE for treatment. An image shared by medical doctors confirmed a smiling little one held by his mom after the process.

Dr Shamsheer Vayalil addresses delegates at the congress-1653717638031
Dr Shamsheer Vayalil addresses delegates at the congress.
Image Credit: Supplied

No must journey overseas

“In the previous, patients within the UAE wanted to journey overseas as a way to receive treatment by bone marrow transplantation, which was a restricted speciality. Now, after our success in performing stem cell transplant procedures within the UAE, there may be new hope for a lot of patients to acquire this treatment with out the necessity to journey,” Dr Abedeen stated.

Financing challenges

Experts additionally mentioned the challenges with financing look after advanced paediatric situations.

“The convention and the theme are essential and well timed as they spotlight vital enhancements within the care and supply of therapies for among the advanced illnesses afflicting youngsters all over the world. Paediatric most cancers care faces an ideal storm: An present and anticipated elevated incidence, rising numbers of survivors with ongoing care wants, and continued scientific developments, providing outstanding promise, however usually at extraordinary value,” stated Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, chairman and managing director at VPS Healthcare, which organised the Congress.

“Despite the promise of a lifelong remedy, cell therapies can have estimated prices starting from $100,000 (Dh367,000) to greater than $1 million (Dh3.67 million). In addition to precise value of the remedy, there’s a cascade of prices with this remedy, together with supportive care, intensive and in depth hospital care and potential downstream most cancers care,” he added.

VPS, a UAE-based health-care supplier, is at present working with worldwide experts at the Lancet Commission, a world well being analysis platform, to handle the associated fee and penalties of paediatric most cancers.


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