The Bone Marrow Transplantation program for Sri Lanka, initiated in 2013, will ensure the establishment and ongoing operation of a
Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit (BMTU) and a Bone Marrow Donor Registry (BMDR) attached to the
National Cancer Institute (NCI) located in Maharagama, Sri Lanka. It will also include introduction of modern blood testing procedures relating to BMT, through the
National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS). St. Vincent’s Hospital Haematology unit in Sydney has offered to foster training, mentorship and professional
development for this project. The aim is to make Sri Lanka self-sufficient in stem cell transplantation over a five year period.
What is BMT?
BMT (Bone Marrow Transplantation), also commonly known as, HSCT (Haemopoietic Stem Cell
Transplantation) is a procedure used to treat a number of blood and immune conditions. The procedure requires
chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy (conditioning) to be delivered to a patient in order to destroy abnormal or
malignant blood cells. Following conditioning, a patient is rescued by infusion of bone marrow stem cells which
repopulate a new bone marrow. Bone marrow is the soft, fatty tissue inside your bones. Stem cells are immature
cells in the bone marrow that give rise to all of your blood cells.(read more..)
Why BMT for Sri Lanka?
Currently, many patients needing BMT and allied services are compelled to go overseas primarily to India and
Singapore incurring very high costs. These costs are due to many factors, such as travel and accommodation for the
patient as well as for donors & carers, over and above the net cost of the treatment. Thus a BMT is not affordable
for the average Sri Lankan. Establishment of a BMT unit will provide due care including the low income patients who cannot afford to
seek overseas options. (read more..)
Another life-saving medical chapter takes its first steps.....
Soon patients in need of bone marrow transplantation will be able to seek treatment at a local state hospital...
- Smriti Daniel (Sunday Times - November 6, 2016)
Aubowewa - A Documentary on the first Bone Marrow Transplant at National Cancer Institute, Maharagama.
- Achini Wijesinghe (Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation - November 11, 2016)
For Richer or Poorer.....
More than two years ago, Associate Professor Moore, Professor Ma and the transplant team embarked on a journey to bring stem cell transplant technology to Sri Lanka; making this life-saving procedure accessible to all Sri Lankans, no matter what their means. The expertise, training and support they brought to Sri Lanka has proven invaluable.
Life Support Blog - Prof. David Ma (St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney-January 2017)
Press Conference held at the Ministry of Health, Colombo. For more details (in Sinhalese):
Lanka CNews - October 29, 2016
Left to Right: Professor David Ma(Department of Haematology and BM transplantation, St Vincent's Hospital Sydney), Dr. R R M L R Siyambalagoda ( Acting Director General, Health Services), Dr. Wilfred Kumarasiri (Director, Apeksha Hospital, Maharagama), Dr. Prasad Abeysinghe (Consultant, Onclologist & BMT Team Leader, Apeksha Hospital, Maharagama).