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Centre emphasizes importance of cord blood banking

September 3, 2014

The Dubai Cord Blood and Research Centre (DCRC) advocated the importance of public donation of cord blood stem cells to help form a substantial registry of stem cells for the UAE.

Kareema Salim Al Arrayed, head of DCRC, said: "Since the inception of this centre in 2006, we have seen an increase in the awareness levels among the public about cord blood banking and this has directly attributed to an increase in the number of people who save their cord blood at our cord blood bank. However, we need to raise awareness that cord blood stem cells can be donated. Presently, more than 80 diseases can be cured with the help of stem cells and this includes leukaemia and genetic disorders such as thalassemia."

She said: "The DCRC encourages families to donate cord blood stem cells so that we have a strong UAE public registry to help people in need. Stem cells are the future of medicine and public banking is a trend that is catching on globally due to the several diseases stem cells can cure."

She added that the centre has 3,377 units collected, of which nine were released for patients (all children) who needed them for life-saving transplantations for diseases such as thalassemia, leukemia and other blood diseases.

She added that in 2013, 326 units were successfully preserved at DCRC.

Al Arrayed said while the numbers are increasing there is a need for ongoing awareness. "Today, mothers are aware of the benefit of this simple procedure, that's why we are seeing a steady rise in the number of women who opt for cord blood collection at the time of birth. They understand it is a form of health insurance."

She highlighted that the centre provides a tour for pregnant women and families interested in preserving stem cells for their families or for the purpose of donation.

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Source: Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)

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