CHENNAI, February 5, 2019/PRNewswire/ --
DATRI - India's largest Blood Stem Cell Donors Registry, facilitated its 500th blood stem cell collection last week, creating a milestone record in the history of unrelated blood stem cell donations in the country.
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Gone are the days when people in India had to fret over finding a volunteer blood stem cell donor. One has less than 25% chance of finding a HLA matched donor within the family. The majority of patients requiring a blood stem cell transplant have to depend on unrelated donors. A decade ago, finding an unrelated HLA matched donor for Indian patients was a very big challenge. It had then seemed like a hopeless option for families of patients needing a blood stem cell transplant. With a registry of volunteer blood stem cell donors, finding a lifesaving match for such patients has become viable.
Srigangaveera, 25 year old IT professional was lucky to be the 500th donor for DATRI. She registered during a drive held at her office. She was happy on hearing that she was found to be a lifesaving match for someone in dire need. Post donation, a very excited Srigangaveera said, "I am proud to be a Blood Stem Cell donor and would like to thank DATRI for giving me an opportunity to save a life. I am glad to be the lucky 500th donor to join the pool of lifesavers. Donation is a very simple process and I would like to appeal to everyone to register as a volunteer Blood Stem Cell Donor."
It is a moment of pride and satisfaction for DATRI, for having come this far wading through several hurdles. The non-profit has been relentlessly working towards saving the lives of patients suffering from Blood Cancer and Thalassemia for a decade now. Such blood disorders can be cured with a blood stem cell transplant. However, low awareness among Indians and irrational taboos posed as major challenges.
The Additional Secretary & Mission Director (NHM) at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Shri Manoj Jhalani said, "I am very happy to know that DATRI Blood Stem Cell Donors Registry has facilitated the 500th blood stem cell transplant. This is great achievement and I congratulate DATRI for the remarkable work. On this occasion I also appeal to all people to come forward and register as a volunteer Blood Stem Cell Donor".
In the last ten years, DATRI has been spreading awareness on registering as a Blood Stem Cell donor through numerous camps held across educational institutions, corporates and residential areas. As a result, there has been a considerable rise in the awareness levels among youngsters and professionals.
It is encouraging to see the growth in the number of volunteer donors donating blood stem cells to save the life of an unknown patient growing at a rate of 522%. In the first 5 years DATRI supported 79 donations which has gone up to 412 in the next 5 years.
Speaking at the proud moment, Co-founder and CEO of DATRI, Raghu Rajagopal, said, "500 donations is indeed an important milestone for us. We have come a long way from the time when we were struggling to counsel our first donor being just a very small team to becoming a team of 80 dedicated employees and over 200 volunteers who work with dedication to ensure every match found in our registry goes ahead with the donation to save a life."
Dr Nezih Cereb, Co-founder and Chairperson of DATRI added, "Unrelated Blood Stem Cell Donation and registry being a new phenomenon to the Indian population, DATRI took tremendous efforts in creating awareness on the same. Since its inception in 2009, DATRI has now grown to a registry of nearly 4 lakh registered voluntary blood stem cell donors. As we complete the 500th donation, I thank all our generous donors, treating physicians, nurses and the support staff, patients who needed a transplant, volunteers and everyone in the community that supported DATRI in its mission of saving lives. We appeal to everyone in the age group of 18 to 50 to come forward and take the first step to register as Blood Stem Cell Donors and support the cause."
Today, though DATRI has over 390,000 registered volunteer donors, there is still a huge demand for blood stem cell donors with the increasing incidences of blood disorders. According to the ICMR, in India by 2020 blood and lymphatic malignancies diagnosed is predicted to be 1,32,574 cases per year.
DATRI is a not-for-profit organization co-founded by Mr Raghu Rajagopal, Dr Nezih Cereb and Dr Soo Young Yang in 2009. The vision of the organization is to find a willing HLA matched donor for every patient suffering from fatal blood-related disorders and in need of a blood stem cell transplant.
DATRI is India's largest adult unrelated blood stem cell donors registry with more than 3,90,000 registered voluntary donors. DATRI has facilitated over 500 donations till date including donations for international patients. DATRI has serviced patients from over 75 hospitals across the world.
DATRI is a member of World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) and is listed in the global search program Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide (BMDW). For more details please visit, www.datri.org