The Government of Tamil Nadu became the first in India to recognize the importance of Public Cord Blood Banking by announcing a grant of Rs. 9 Crores ($1,671,300 USD) to the Public Cord Blood Bank established in 2008 by Jeevan Blood Bank and Research Centre, a not-for-profit organization. This grant, to be disbursed over three years, will help Jeevan collect, process, test and store a minimum of 3000 cord blood donations from Tamil Nadu.
"This is a long awaited major boost to Public Cord Blood Banking in India. It must be remembered that in every country, the Government has played the major role in this domain. I am hopeful that other states will find some funding in the 12th plan allocation for healthcare and promote cord blood banking in their states" said Dr. P Srinivasan, Co-Founder and Chairman of Jeevan.
AdvertisementUmbilical Cord Blood, discarded after childbirth, is one of the richest sources of blood forming stem cells and is being used across the world for over two decades for the treatment of blood cancers, Thalassemia and blood disorders.
Human Leucocyte Antigen (HLA) matching of the donor and the recipient is critical to the success of transplant of stem cells. Globally, HLA matching is dependent on the ethnicity of the patient and donor. In the absence of an Indian inventory, the chances of an Indian finding a match is less than 10% across the world. Even if lucky enough to find a match, it will cost the patient close to Rs. 20 lakhs to import the same.
This grant by the Government of Tamil Nadu is expected to pave the way for other state Governments to participate in creating a larger national inventory with adequate representation of all linguistic groups in India. This will help more Indians find a match and a hope for cure.
Jeevan will make available stem cells from donated umbilical cord blood for the treatment of blood disorders, subject to match, free of any cost to patients from Tamil Nadu including the employees of Government of Tamil Nadu and their dependents.
In 2011, Jeevan released the first stem cell unit for treatment of a 5 year old boy.† On 14th November 2012, it launched real time search facility for HLA match at www. bethecure.in† and in 2013 January Jeevan released the second unit of stem cells for transplant.