The Binaytara Foundation (BTF) partnered with the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Civil Service Hospital of Nepal to develop the country’s first Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplant (BMT) Center. Stem cell transplant is a standard procedure for the treatment of many blood cancers. The BMT center in Kathmandu successfully completed the first bone marrow transplant in August 2016. The newly established BMT center aims to serve not only the 26.5 million people of Nepal but also millions of people from neighboring India. Throughout this project, BTF provided the capacity to staff the Center and will offer continuing education to clinicians.
Nepal is located in South Asia between India and China. According to 2011 census, Nepal’s population is 26.5 million. Although we do not have any official data, according to the hematologists and oncologists practicing in Nepal, lymphoma is a common cancer diagnosed in the Himalayan country. Bone marrow transplant is also effective in treatment of sickle cell anemia, a condition common among people of certain ethnicities in Nepal and India. This BMT center at Civil Service Hospital can significantly improve the morbidities and mortalities related to sickle cell disease by making bone marrow transplant services available to those community members.
To improve the quality of life of patients (and their family) diagnosed with various blood cancers and sickle cell diseases by making bone marrow transplant services available and affordable.
Training of the BMT Team
The Binaytara Foundation sponsored the training of two physicians and a registered nurse from Civil Service Hospital at the University of Illinois Hospital (UIH) Chicago. During their training, the participants developed the skills associated with stem cell transplantation. The trainees rotated in the UIH Blood Bank and bone marrow stem cell transplantation center, and became familiar with the co-morbidities and epidemiology of various blood cancers, especially as it applies in India and Nepal.
The Binaytara Foundation is currently supporting the training of a physician in Clinical Genetics at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The physician, Dr. Rupesh Mishra, is expected to complete his masters in clinical genetics in August 2017; he will join the civil service hospital BMT team upon his return to Nepal.
The Binaytara Foundation will continue to support the development of manpower for the bone marrow transplant center, and plans to train a few more physicians in hematology and other specialties needed to help patients requiring bone marrow transplant.
Patient support team
Our goal is to create a patient support team that will help patients unable to afford the costs of bone marrow transplant get the financial support needed to receive the bone marrow transplant services. The committee will be free of any socio-political bias, and is expected to hold high moral and ethical values that can not be influenced by politicians, government officials, or any other individual and/or group’s pressure.
The committee may not discriminate against any individual based on their caste, gender, age, religion, language, or any other such factors. The only determinant of support should be the economic need of the patients and their families. The cost of Bone Marrow transplant at Civil Service Hospital is expected to be approximately 5000 USD. The committee will decide the percentage/amount of support provided to each patient based on pre-determined, objective criteria or scoring system.
The committee will have the following responsibilities:
- Raising funds to provide BMT services to economically disadvantaged patients; this will include soliciting donations from business community, individuals, and organizations.
Financial support decision making:
- Identifying the financial needs of the patients/families based on their income, assets, nature of employment, family background (including number of dependents, age of dependents, other social and family support available to them) etc.
- Determining the amount and type of support to be provided
- Mobilizing volunteers and other channels to ensure the financial support information is available to patients who are in need of BMT services.
Holding everyone accountable:
- Following up with the patient/family to evaluate the impact of the support – need to develop an objective assessment tool
- Ensuring the funds are used appropriately by regularly auditing the income/expenses
- Maintaining transparency and making financial support information available to the public
- Maintain non-discriminative approach when making decisions about who will receive the support and how much.
If you would like nominate someone or yourself as a patient support team member, please email us – [email protected]