Doha hospital inks cord blood banking accord
Doha, December 14, 2009
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and Virgin Health Bank QSTP (VHB) have signed an MoU that will see VHB offer private cord blood banking services to HMC’s patients from January end.
Under the agreement, VHB will work with the Hamad Women’s Hospital to provide patients with access to their high quality cord blood stem cell banking services. This Shariah compliant (in accordance with Islamic law) service gives families the choice of storing cord blood stem cells from their newborn babies should they wish to become customers of VHB.
The cord blood stem cells can be used to treat disorders like beta thalassemia, sickle cell anaemia and cerebral palsy and, assuming that they are a match, would also be available should they be required by a family member as part of a treatment plan for a range of illnesses such as leukaemia.
“Medical science is advancing all the time and stem cells will be the basis for new treatments in the future in addition to those that have already been developed,” said Dr Hanan Al Kuwari, managing director of Hamad Medical Corporation.
Cord blood derived stem cells offer many advantages over those that are harvested from bone marrow - a key benefit is that these stem cells are harvested in a non-intrusive and pain-free method from the placenta that is generally discarded following the birth of the child.
“Increasing numbers of families around the world are choosing to bank the cord blood stem cells of their babies and we’re delighted to be working with HMC to provide this service for families here in Qatar,” added Dr Rajan Jethwa, chief executive of Virgin Health Bank.
“Our vision is to exploit Virgin Health Bank's knowledge of cord blood stem cell processing and storage, benefit from the global reach of the Virgin brand, and to make Qatar one of the world's leading centres for cord blood banking.”-TradeArabia News Service
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