The Ministry of Health presented the Bone Marrow Donation Program on Tuesday. The program will launch on March 16th, and will allow, for the first time, residents of the Principality to become donors and to register in the bone marrow donor register (REDMO) that is part of the international donors’ network. Therefore, it would be available to any patient in the world who might need it.
The bone marrow is a tissue indispensable for life, it contains stem cells, and its transplantation can treat diseases in which there is excessive, insufficient or defective production of blood cells. The Minister of Health, Joan Martínez Benazet, emphasized that “the entry into force of this program is an addition to the umbilical cord program, which has already served six transplants since 2012 (last one, this year)”.
Cristina Vilanova, from the Ministry of Health, explained the three steps to become a donor: “get informed, sign up and if there is compatibility, start the donation process”. SAAS will be in charge of the whole procedure, they will make a visit with everyone who signs up to the register. Donor Care Point will be created, from which all medical information will be coordinated.
For her part, Cristina Pérez, a midwife at SAAS, who will be the contact person for those who want to sign up for the registry, explained that “anyone between 18 and 40 years old with good general health can become a donor”. She emphasized that “only one in 4,000 people registered as donors end up being compatible with one recipient”, therefore it is essential that as many people as possible sign up.