The Maharashtra government and the Tata Trusts today launched a campaign to create awareness about bone marrow donation and establish a registry for the same in the state. Union minister Nitin Gadkari, state medical education minister Girish Mahajan and Tata Trusts’ chief financial officer and secretary Burzis S Taraporevala here launched the awareness campaign, named ‘Jeev Rakshak Sena’. Mahajan said the initiative will raise public awareness about bone marrow transplantation.
The campaign aims to create a database of committed donors, who will stand by their pledge to donate their blood stem cells to patients suffering from life threatening ailments like leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell disease, thalassemia and aplastic anemia, he said. The bone marrow registry was today launched at the Government Medical College & Hospital (GMCH) Nagpur. Similar registries will come up in all government hospitals of the state in the coming years, the minister said. On the occasion, Gadkari said sickle cell disease and thalassemia were quite prevalent in eastern Vidarbha districts of Gondia, Bhandara, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli and Nagpur.
In the north Nagpur constituency itself there were about 40,000 patients of sickle cell disease and thalassemia, Gadkari said. He urged Mahajan to set up a special hospital in north Nagpur to treat the patients suffering from these diseases. Taraporevala said the project aims to build a robust database of voluntary donors from across Maharashtra, in a phased manner, by working with the public health and other government departments. It aims to create awareness among an array of citizens, from college students to homemakers to working professionals, about bone marrow donation. Bone marrow is the flexible tissue in the interior of bones. In humans, red blood cells are produced by cores of bone marrow in the heads of long bones. The bone marrow transplants can help treat severe diseases of the bone marrow, including certain forms of cancer such as leukemia.