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Dow becomes Pakistan’s first university hospital

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Dow becomes Pakistan’s first university hospital
« on: April 12, 2019, 10:53:32 AM »
Dow becomes Pakistan’s first university hospital
Karachi:12 April:A 63-year-old man suffering from multiple myeloma (a type of blood cancer) became the first person who successfully underwent bone marrow transplant (BMT) at a public hospital in Sindh when a team of haematologists and physicians at the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) performed the first BMT there last month.

“Our team of experts led by renowned haematologist and transplant physician performed the first BMT on March 14 of a 63-year-old patient who was discharged on April 1 after recovery. This is the first BMT procedure done at any public health facility in Sindh,” said Prof Saeed Quraishy, vice-chancellor of the DUHS, while talking to The News on Thursday.

BMT is a specialised procedure in which diseased marrow of a person is replaced with that of a healthy person, and in most of the cases, patients suffering from thalassaemia and various types of blood cancers undergo BMT so that they body can start producing healthy blood cells.

Several BMT attempts by different public health facilities, including the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, have failed in the past due to the absence of trained and qualified physicians and surgeons as well as other reasons, compelling patients to seek this specialised treatment at a handful of private facilities.

Prof Quraishy said Dr Farrukh Ali Khan, who performed the first BMT at the varsity’s Ojha Hospital, is a haematologist trained from the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) and who later went to Saudi Arabia. “We hired him to establish a BMT facility and start the procedure here, and he successfully did that.”

At the moment, only two private hospitals — the National Institute of Blood Diseases (NIBD) and the AKUH — are performing BMTs in Sindh, while patients even from Punjab and Islamabad are referred to these hospitals, where they are provided treatment on a commercial basis.

“But we are a non-profit organisation, and our BMT will be quite cheaper as compared to private hospitals. After our first successful BMT procedure, our morale is quite high and we are ready to treat children and other patients suffering from genetic blood disorders and cancers,” said Prof Quraishy.

Dr Khan, the lead transplant physician who performed the first BMT at the DUHS, said that he and a team of consultants, nursing staff, registrars and coordinators performed the autologous BMT of a patient suffering from multiple myeloma.

“I personally supervised a state-of-the-art BMT facility at the DUHS, and Alhamdulillah, we are the only university hospital in Pakistan where a BMT has been carried out successfully,” he said, adding that they had many patients lined up who will undergo BMTs soon.

He said they are in the process of modifying their facility to start paediatric BMTs, as children suffering from various blood disorders, including thalassaemia, also need BMTs. He added that it will take some time before they start performing BMTs of children at the public health facility.

Terming it a great achievement for the people of the province and the rest of the country, he said that now patients will be able to get this specialised and expensive treatment at an affordable cost at the DUHS. He thanked Prof Quraishy for his support and assistance in making the programme a success.

Govt-NIBD contract

The Sindh government has decided to give Rs500 million to the NIBD for BMTs of children and other patients who will be referred to the hospital by the health department.

“Three health organisations — the AKUH, the DUHS and the NIBD — are performing BMTs in Sindh now, and after reviewing their rates, facilities and other factors, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah decided to provide Rs500 million to the NIBD for BMT and treatment of various types of cancers in children,” Health Secretary Saeed Awan told The News on Thursday.

He said that the first tranche of Rs250 million will be released to the NIBD very soon, adding that children and other patients requiring BMT and cancer treatment will now avail this facility at a private hospital on the expense of the provincial government.

He said the DUHS has also started BMTs, but as it is a relatively an inexperienced organisation in the field of BMT, the government has decided to give the contract to the NIBD for this specialised treatment.The news.
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