Bone Marrow Transplantation Centre for Thalassemia

Press Release
Yunus Centre

Dhaka, Bangladesh - 11/08/09 - Nobel laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Chairman, Grameen Health Care Trust and Cure2Children Foundation of Italy  signed an MOU to establish a Bone Marrow  Transplantation Centre for Thalassemia in Bangladesh. Cure2Children Foundation was represented by Lawrence Faulkner (founder and scientific coordinator), Pietro Sodani (consultant hematologist and BMT expert) and Eugenio La Mesa  (CEO).


A Centre to Cure Thalassemia with Bone Marrow Transplantation

The goal is to set up a Social Business in Bangladesh to start Bone Marrow Transplantation , the only way to cure Thalassemia.  A committee of Grameen Health Care Trust, Cure2Children, Thalassemia Associations and local professionals have prepared an action plan to evaluate the different options to start with the first transplant within the first half of 2010 and a plan to cure all uses of Thalassemia by 2025.

“Bangladesh needs improvement in all aspects of healthcare. Through Grameen we are trying to address some health issues which need immediate action. We are very happy to collaborate with Cure2Children of Italy to undertake some action in area of Thalassemia. We can protect children from Thalassemia by making people aware of how to avoid Thalassemia. Bangladesh is a country with high density of Thalassemia carriers. It is very important that we let people know how the disease spreads and how it can be reduced and stopped completely. In the mean time we want to create facilities for bone marrow transplantation in an affordable way for children who are already suffering from Thalassemia. I hope this faculty will bring hope to many who already lost hope for their dear ones” said Professor Yunus, Chairman of Grameen Health Care Trust.

“Our main goal is to create with Grameen Health Care Trust a financially self-sustainable social business for Bone Marrow Transplantation with the potential to be easily scalable, both in Bangladesh and in other countries “, said Eugenio La Mesa, CEO of Cure2Children.


Prevention

Since the only way to defeat Thalassemia is through prevention, the parties plan to raise public awareness on the disease, and to evaluate the possibility of establishing screening facilities throughout the country with the support of Grameen.

Thalassemia Will Join The List Of Extinct Diseases Along With Polio and Small Pox

Combining the know-how of Grameen in Bangladesh, Cure2Children and Bangladeshi professionals in Thalassemia, we envisage that ten years from now there will be no more Thalassemia in Bangladesh; that is “Thalassemia Will Join The List Of Extinct Diseases Along With Polio and Small Pox” said Eugenio La Mesa.

Cure2Children will provide the medical knowledge, know-how transfer and training while Grameen Health Care Trust will provide local knowledge and networks in rural Bangladesh.

The two companies plan to sign a Memorandum of Understanding and to setup a joint-venture, the details of which will be addressed in the coming months.

Professor Yunus in his closing remark said he is now aware that Thalassemia is a major problem in his country and thanked Cure2Children for offering assistance in the cure of this disease by Bone Marrow Transplantation; and he is strongly committed to achieving and expediting this goal.

Professor  Muhammad Yunus

Professor Yunus developed the concept of microcredit and founded Grameen Bank. Dr. Yunus and the bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below."


About Grameen Healthcare Trust

Grameen Healthcare Trust (GH) aims to extend the success of the microfinance model of Grameen Bank to health care by designing and developing a bottom-up health care infrastructure built from sustainable best practices in a broad range of health care services around the world,
and improving upon them to deliver the highest quality health care in an efficient and sustainable manner for a broad market, including the poorest of the poor. GH will enable the poor to be self sufficient in addressing their health care needs such that they can accept. GH has a particular focus on maternal health and childcare. In the future, GH aims to provide services covering prenatal care, maternal health and pediatrics. The program will also deal with anemia and malnutrition in children. GH will set up a medical college, and a series of hospitals, nursing institutes, rural diagnostic centers and health management centers, as part of its broader program.

www.grameenhealth.org
www.yunuscentre.org

About Cure2Children

Cure2Children (C2C) is an Italian non-profit, non political and secular organization providing support to developing countries' health professionals caring for children with cancer and blood disorders. The aim is to give a significant and measurable contribution to the cure and well-being of children with severe disorders such as cancer, leukemia or thalassemia, in poor countries. Cure2Children wants to improve care directly were underprivileged families live by training and supporting local doctors and nurses, purchasing supplies and providing equipment. In addition, financial, psychological and logistic support is offered to needy families to prevent treatment abandonment.
The ultimate goal is to promote self-reliance and limit the painful emigration of distressed families seeking cure for their children in richer countries.

Visit to learn more:
http://www.cure2children.org
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