On Saturday March 12, 2016, Apollo Hospitals Dhaka made history: Dr. Abu Jafar Mohammed Saleh, Consultant-Adult Haematology and Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant and his team conducted the first ever successful autologous stem cell transplantation in the history of private hospitals in Bangladesh, independent of any external support.
“Autologous transplants, which is using the person’s own stem cells to replace stem cells damaged by chemotherapy, is an essential component of treatment for various haematological conditions, such as multiple myeloma, lymphoma and some forms of leukaemia,” explained Dr. Saleh “and here at Apollo Hospitals Dhaka, we offer it at the minimum cost, which is much lower than neighbouring countries, like India, Thailand and Singapore while ensuring that our outcomes are on par with the international standards.”
Along with his team, Dr. Saleh treated the 71 year old male patient who has been suffering from multiple myeloma for 9 months. Even though they had visited the hospitals in Bangkok earlier, the patient’s family finally chose Apollo Hospitals Dhaka, considering the comfort and confidence in getting treatment here.
Having spent 10 years at King Faisal Special Hospital and Research Centre in the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia and having had conducted more than a thousand bone marrow transplants; Dr.Saleh has extensive hands-on experience in all aspects of bone marrow transplant such as clinical management, transfusion medicine and stem cell processing.
Apollo Hospitals Dhaka has invested a total of BDT 90 million in technology such as creating a positive pressure rooms for ensuring complete sterile environment for immunocompromised patients, development of apheresis unit for separation of different blood components and comprehensive diagnostic workup facilities.
To provide comprehensive management for all kinds of haematological disorders, Apollo Hospitals Dhaka has trained their team, comprising of doctors,nurses, technologists and pharmacists at renowned centres abroad. Also, the haematology and bone marrow transplant centre at Apollo Hospitals Dhaka is the only centre in Bangladesh that provides comprehensive haematology-oncological services which includes Therapeutic Plasma Exchange, stem cell apheresis anddifferent blood cell apheresis.
“I am very happy that we did this procedure successfully” said Dr.Saleh. “Until now, many patients with blood disorders such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma, have been going abroad for treatment. However, as of today, we have 18 patients registered with us for bone marrow transplantation, most of whom were originally planning to go abroad.This is because, at Apollo Hospitals Dhaka, we believe that people need not suffer the worry and the expenses in going abroad for treatment, when international standard treatment is available here.”
“This is the result of two years of preparation and hard work by our team, and this accomplishment gives us great satisfaction.” Mr. R. Basil, CEO and Executive Director of Apollo Hospitals Dhaka said, “We will shortly announce many more such clinical breakthroughs so that Bangladeshi patients can avail of those world-class treatments, here in their own home country.”