Kenya Conducts First Successful Bone Marrow Transplant

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Kenya Conducts First Successful Bone Marrow Transplant

Kenya’s Nairobi West Hospital has successfully conducted its first bone marrow transplant procedure.

On Tuesday, Chief Medical Director Professor Andrew Gachi said the female patient, aged 55, was ailing from multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer.

“This is a great milestone in the medical history of this country. We have successfully transplanted bone marrow to a patient with multiple myeloma, and we expect to discharge her in two days,” stated Prof. Gachi.

“Our aim is also to be the leading Bone Marrow Transplant unit not only in East Africa but across Africa,” he added.

Dr. Guarav Dixit, a doctor at the New Delhi cancer centre in India, explained that the process conducted on the first patient at the Nairobi West facility is known as autogorous. 

It involves harvesting healthy cells from the patient, destroying the patient’s abnormal or damaged cells, and then re-injecting the healthy cells into the patient.

Dr Dixit noted that the bone marrow treatment is a very crucial treatment procedure because “in some instances, it offers the only hope of a cure in treating blood cancers like Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), that would otherwise be difficult to treat with conventional chemotherapy alone’.

He said BMT could also be used to treat multiple sclerosis and pediatric immunodeficiencies and that it’s a safe procedure for patients with sickle cell disease if done at a young age.


 

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