Cancer Association of Namibia and the South African Bone Marrow Registry have made great strides to automate and more easily navigate the “Donor Application Drive” for more interested persons.
We are excited that through our collaboration, the dream to build a robust Africa Stem Cell Registry is taking effect.
Every year, thousands of people with leukaemia, other blood diseases, and immune disorders reach a point where the only possible cure–and their only chance for survival–is a bone marrow transplant. Some patients will have a compatible donor in their family, but for most, they’ll need a stranger’s help—a stranger with their exact type of bone marrow tissue. But with thousands of tissue types, finding that match is just a 1 in 100 000 chance. For some patients they may have inherited such unique tissue types that they may have an even a lower chance in finding a match and we will need more donors to find them a match. Bone marrow is the tissue in the body where blood cells are produced. Blood cells are critical to a person’s immune system: they carry oxygen, fight infection, and prevent bleeding. A transplant replaces the patient’s diseased bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells, so that the patient can start producing healthy blood. But for that to happen, a donor must be found with a matching bone marrow tissue type amongst thousands of tissue types. Even with over 40 million donors registered around the world, many patients in desperate need do not find their donors in time, and do not survive.
That’s why we need to keep registering donors: to give every patient an equal chance at finding a match. You could be a match for a patient who’s right now waiting on their miracle donor!
Register for screening to become a donor. Click on the “Namibia” drop-down tab in the online form and you will be contacted to pave the way forward to help impact lives.
The SABMR is constantly looking to increase its database both in number as well as ethnic diversity. However, potential donors need to fulfil certain criteria relating to age and health. Kindly note that SABMR now allows applicants between the age of 16 and 45. If you are under the age of 18 please discuss applying to SABMR with your immediate family and contact our offices if you have any further questions prior to submitting your application. Should your application be successful, SABMR will dispatch a Buccal swab (cheek swab) either via courier or make arrangement for an appointment to complete this all free of charge at one of our nearest partners guided by the Cancer Association of Namibia.