National Stem Cell Coordinating Centre Launched

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 (Bernama) - The Ministry of Health finally realised its wish to have a National Stem Cell Coordinating Centre (NSCCC) which was launched Thursday.

Director of Medical Development Division, Datuk Dr Azmi Shapie said the NSCCC was built at a mere cost of RM50,000 using the expertise from its own staff.

"I hope the existence of the NSCCC can benefit patients in dire need of stem cell treatment," he told reporters after launching the NSCCC at the National Blood Centre here, on behalf of the director-general of Health, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

In a statement distributed to reporters, Dr Noor Hisham said stem cells could only be obtained from blood vessels, bone marrow or umbilical cord blood to produce different types of blood components needed to treat patients.

It said all Malaysians aged 18 to 50 years who are healthy and free from infectious diseases and chronic diseases are encouraged to register as cell donors.

Among the diseases that may be treated with stem cell blood transplant are leukemia, lymphoma, thalassemia and aplastic anemia.

Statistics (from 2006 to March 31) show that 22,933 Malaysians or 0.08 per cent of the total population registered as stem cell donors in the Malaysian Stem Cell Registry.

Also launched at the event was a book of guidelines on the policies and procedures to ensure that the stem cell donation process meet professional ethics.

-- BERNAMA

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National Stem Cell Coordinating Centre Launched

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