Saturday, November 9, 2013

UBTH Successfully Completes Stem Cell Transplant On Second Sickle Cell Patient

University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) on Friday said it had
conducted the second successful stem cell transplant for a 15-
year-old sickle cell patient in Benin.
Dr Nosakhare Bazuaye, consultant Haematologist and Coordinator of UBTH
stem cell transplant centre, disclosed this to the News Agency of
Nigeria (NAN) in Benin.
Bazuaye, who spoke on behalf of the Chief Medical Director of the
hospital, Prof. Michael Ibadin, said that the operation was successful
and that the patient's genotype had changed from SS to AA.
"In 2011, we announced our first transplant for a patient that had
sickle cell disease.
"We have done a second successful transplant for a 15-year-old boy
whose transplant took place 102 days ago. The first patient that was
transplanted is two years post transplant now, his haemoglobin is AA
and he is perfectly okay.
"By WHO regulations, patients are certified fit after 100 days of
transplant, so the current patient is over a hundred days and his
genotype is AA and has not had any crises since then. So with this, we
are now discharging him to go home", the consultant said.
Bazuaye said that the second transplant had to be conducted after two
years due to inadequate facilities and financial constraints of the
"We have about three per cent of Nigerians who have this sickle cell disease.
"We are hoping that the Federal Government and NGOs would put some
money into establishing an international centre in UBTH to provide
this mode of therapy for most Nigerians.
"We are happy that we have successfully done a second transplant. We
are hopeful that with assistance from the Federal Government and NGOs,
we will do more transplants and make transplant free and within the
reach of most Nigerians.''
The haematologist said that the therapy could also be used to cure
other diseases like blood cancers, bone marrow failure, cancers of the
bones and combined immune deficiency syndrome in children.
"For sickle cell transplant, it is better we do the transplant when
the children are below 15 years old because at that age, there are
usually less complications. But for diseases like cancers of the
blood, people below 50 years can benefit from stem cell transplant,"
he said.
He said that the first patient was paid for by the hospital, adding
that "we are expecting that subsequent patients should pay for their
"The second patient has been able to pay some part of the medical
bills, and we are hoping that the remaining part of the bill would be
paid and then he can go home," he said.
UBTH is the only hospital in Nigeria and West Africa performing such transplant

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