A milestone in cancer treatment
IT is heartening to see that the country's first ever Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) Unit has successfully restored all its twelve blood cancer patients to health in the last one year. In a developing country like Bangladesh, achieving zero mortality rate in the first year of such a programme is indeed a rare achievement. We thank the US expatriate Dr Bimalangshu Ranjan Dey for his trailblazing role in setting up the BMT Unit. The government also deserves credit for facilitating Dr Dey's effort.
In Bangladesh every year many people die of blood cancer and Thalassemia simply because they do not have access to proper treatment, both in terms of facility and cost. Under a joint venture of the health ministry and Massachusetts General Hospital, the BMT Unit was established in the DMCH with the capacity to provide state-of-the-art treatment on blood cancer and Thalassemia at a much lower cost. Now the challenge is to replicate this effort to cover a large section of the population. Another challenge is to make the transplantation process more sophisticated so that critical cases can be dealt with success. General people also have to be made aware of the importance of donating bone marrow.
We have made the right beginning. Now we have to follow up on this outstanding achievement so that every cancer patient in Bangladesh can get proper treatment at an affordable price. Both the government and private sectors need to work together in this endeavour. We hope more expatriate Bangladeshis will be encouraged by Dr Dey's example to contribute more to their motherland. We believe, if we work in concert we will triumph over all cancers.