Kerala doctor performs UAE's first paediatric bone marrow transplant

Kerala doctor performs first pediatric stem cell bone marrow transplant in the UAE
Image Credit: IANS

Dubai: A Kerala doctor in Abu Dhabi has performed the first paediatric stem cell bone marrow transplant in the UAE, the hospital where it was performed has announced.

The highly advanced allogeneic procedure was successfully carried out on a five-year-old girl from Uganda with sickle cell disease by Dr. Zainul Aabideen, Head of the Department of Paediatric Hematology and Oncology at Burjeel Medical City.

Dr. Aabideen, a native of Kannur, completed his MBBS from Calicut University and a post-graduate degree in paediatrics from the University of Mumbai. He then moved to the United Kingdom to specialize and undertake further training in paediatric hematology, paediatric oncology, and paediatric bone marrow transplantation.

According to a statement released here, the procedure, conducted at the 400-bed multi-specialty hospital's Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, is the very first paediatric treatment of its kind to be performed in the country.

Kerala doctor performs first pediatric stem cell bone marrow transplant in the UAE
Image Credit:IANS

The patient's 10-year-old sister donated her bone marrow for the transplant at Burjeel Medical City, a flagship hospital of VPS Healthcare.

Sickle cell disease is a genetic disorder, which results in an abnormality in the hemoglobin found in red blood cells, causing them to become sickle-shaped and leading to several complications including anaemia, swelling in the hands and feet, frequent pain, acute chest syndrome, and sometimes stroke.

Prior to the treatment, the child had been regularly admitted to the hospital due to complications arising from her disease since birth.

"As this was a life-threatening condition, the only curative option was bone marrow transplantation. Before this procedure, the patient suffered a lot. The entire care team here at the hospital and the child's parents are delighted that the transplant will relieve this pain from her life, said Dr. Aabideen.

The patient has responded well to the treatment and will be discharged in a few days after a five-week stay at the hospital, which has advanced capabilities in adult and paediatric oncology as well as long-term and palliative care.

Earlier, pediatric patients in the UAE who had to undergo allogeneic stem cell bone marrow transplants travelled to the US, the UK, India, and other European countries. Burjeel Medical City plans to expand its bone marrow transplant capabilities across the region to continue to change the lives of adults and children suffering from chronic and life-altering conditions.


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