The Sankalp CIMS Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Unit was started in 2017 as a collaborative effort between Sankalp India Foundation, CIMS Hospital and support from Cure2Children, Italy. The BMT unit was a step in the direction of a thalassemia-free India. The unit was set up on the principles of frugal innovation and had 4 transplant beds very suited for transplants for benign hematological conditions in children. The child friendly rooms are so designed and set up that the chances of any infection are reduced to a minimum. Children from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab have been coming here for BMT. The cost of transplant has been set to INR 9 lakhs for a fully matched related donor transplant and 14 lakhs for a partially matched related donor transplant and includes all medical cover from the pre transplant care to post transplant cover upto 1 year post discharge. The families pay an average of 30-35% of the costs, about 25% comes in through support from the Government of Gujarat, and the remaining 40-45% is raised by Sankalp through donations by individuals and philanthropic organisations like DKMS Foundation, Cipla Foundation, Didwania (Ratanlal) Charitable Trust, Amit Iyer Memorial Foundation etc. While Sankalp takes care of patient preparedness, financial and personnel planning, CIMS provides essential clinical services at charitable not for profit rates. Cure2Children, an Italian organisation, founded with the intention of helping children with blood disorders all over the world, has been providing medical knowledge, clinical management support and patient funding on a need basis. HLA typing, which is the first and most expensive investigation before planning a transplant, is offered by DKMS, an German organisation committed to saving lives of people suffering from cancers and blood disorders.
The clinical team is led by Sankalp’s Dr Deepa Trivedi, a pediatric hematologist oncologist who is the Program Director with guidance from Dr Lawrence Faulkner, who is the Medical Director of Sankalp and Cure2Children. Till date more than 1000 families have been offered HLA typing. 129 patients, with a median age of 8.6 years, have been offered a fully matched related donor transplant with an overall survival of 96% and a disease free survival of 92% (median follow up of 25 months). 21 patients with a median age of 8.1 years, have been offered partially matched related donor transplant with an overall and disease free survival of 85% (median follow up of 12 months). The oldest patient taken up for transplant was 17.2 years. The centre aims to do more transplants in the coming years and take up transplants for other conditions like Severe Aplastic Anemia in the near future. A small event was held at CIMS to commemorate the event
“Achieving 90% cure in 150 transplants has unquestionably been a major achievement by the whole team led by Dr. Deepa Trivedi, Sankalp, CIMS Hospital and Cure2Children Foundation. Even more importantly, these objectively outstanding outcomes have been obtained at a fraction of Western centers' costs. I am not aware of any center globally which has performed better in terms of value delivery to patients and their families. My warmest and most heart-felt congratulations to the whole team” said Dr Lawrence.