DKMS BMST foundation India recently conducted a stem cell donor registration drive at the CultRang-2023 student fest at IIT Goa to raise awareness about blood stem cell donation.
During the drive over 300 students registered as potential lifesavers with the DKMS-BMST, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the fight against blood cancer and blood disorders.
UNIQUE HLA CHARACTERISTICS
CEO of DKMS BMST Foundation India Patrick Paul said, "Patients and donors of Indian origin have unique HLA characteristics that are severely under-represented in the global database, which makes the probability of finding a suitable donor even more difficult."
He further added that the representation of Indian population in the registry is minimal. "India, being a young country, our aim is to raise greater awareness about blood stem cell donation through students,” said Paul.
COLLABORATION FOR A CAUSE
Faculty Advisor Culturals, IIT Goa, Dr Divya Padmanabhan spoke about the collaboration of CultRang-2023 with DKMS-BMST and said that they appreciate their efforts in helping blood cancer patients.
"We believe the youth of today have great potential in encouraging fellow peers towards a noble cause. There can be nothing more incredible than saving a life, and we as an institute are glad to be a part of a cause that raises awareness among the public about registering as a blood stem cell donor and its impact on a patient’s life,” added Padmanabhan.
THE DEMAND FOR STEM CELL DONORS
The demand for stem cell donors came about because every 5 minutes someone in India diagnosed with blood cancer or a blood disorder like thalassemia or aplastic anaemia.
With very few individuals signing up as potential blood stem cell donors, the probability of finding a matching donor becomes difficult. This increases the need for more people of Indian ethnicity to register themselves.