Symposium on Bone Marrow Transplant held at KMU

Khyber Medical University (KMU), Peshawar in collaboration with Quaid e Azam International Hospital (QIH), Islamabad organized a one day awareness symposium on Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) here at KMU-Multi Purposes Hall.

Distinguished bone marrow transplantation experts like Prof.  Dr.  Salman Adil from Agha Khan University Karachi, Major Gen. Tariq Mehmood Satti from Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Major Gen. (R) Parvez Ahmed from Quide Azam International Hospital, Islamabad, Brigadier Syed Kamran Mehmood from Armed Forces Bone Marrow Transplant Centre, Dr. Alia Zaidi and Asst. Prof. Dr. Yasir Yousafzai from KMU-IBMS spoke at the event.

The experts stressed the need for good quality bone marrow transplant centres, better control of infections and increasing funding for bone marrow transplant in Pakistan. The experts shared that in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, thalassaemia and blood cancers are not only very common but the treatment facilities of these diseases are very rare and expensive. 

The experts pointed out that so far over fifteen hundred BMT have been performed in Pakistan and the main problem was shortage of donors besides financial constraints as well as human resources. The experts said that BMT started in 1980’s and now millions of bone marrow transplants are performed all over the world.  Most of these BMTs are autologous but in Pakistan most of the BMTs are allogenic.  We have five centers doing BMTs in Pakistan. About ten thousand patients 50% of which are children need bone marrow transplant every year, they added.

The experts expressed that majority of the patients having BMT in the world are over fifty years of age, where as in Pakistan thalassaemia patients average life is up to 15-25 years. So we need to focus more on patients who are under twenty five years of age which makes it 50% of the population.