The Sankalp-CIMS Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant unit was started in April 2017 with an intent to provide the option of cure for thalassemiacs in Gujarat region. The centre is setup on a completely not for profit basis, and is the first transplant centre in Gujarat with an exclusive focus on thalassemia.
In October 2017, we completed 15 transplants with 100% success rate. This is an important landmark and reiterates the commitment of Sankalp to deliver best quality of care inline with the standards and practices of the best in the world .
To commemorate this occasion, we held a small celebration program on 11th October 2017 at CIMS Hospital, Ahmedabad. This program brought together all stakeholders involved with the setup and running of the unit – the management of CIMS, people from Sankalp, the financial donors and most importantly the families of the children who were cured from thalassemia.
Dr. Keyur Parikh, chairman of CIMS expressed his excitement on the success of the program. He thanked the BMT team the team and opined that CIMS Hospital which was earlier known mostly for cardiac care treatment is today making news for being a 'Paediatric Thalassemia cure center' in Gujarat.
Dr. Deepa Trivedi, the pediatric hematologist oncologist at CIMS BMT who oversaw these transplants shared her experience of this successful journey of 15 transplants. She stressed on the critical emphasis the team lays on "down-staging", the process of preparing a child for transplant. She mentioned that she never had a situation where the treatment of any child was interrupted for want of funds. In her view, this contributed immensely to seeing the children being cured.
Dr. Vikramjit Singh Kanwar, a renowned transplant physician who recently moved in from the US to take charge of the unit shared the future prospects and the vision for the centre. He explained to the eager families in queue for transplant the structure of the program and how pre- and post transplant care units are being setup in different geographies to ensure continued care from 6 months prior to 1 year post the stay in the unit. He encouraged families to be vigilant in choosing a transplant centre for the treatment of their children. He mentioned that it is important for them to know the results, experience and commitment of the transplant team before planning for transplants there.
Many BMT patients' families shared the experience of their journey through the transplant process. They were overcome with emotions and excitement as they expressed their joy at seeing their child heading towards a thalassemia free life. The father of a BMT patient(1.5yrs) spoke of how transplant done at the right centre under the leadership of a right team can be a better option in comparison to lifelong monthly blood transfusions.
Mr Lalith Parmar, president of Sankalp India Foundation thanked all the donors, patient families, partner institutions and other stakeholders who contributed to realising the objectives of Sankalp program for thalassemia cure. He expressed his confidence that together with the support of everyone, we will reach out to more children with cure.