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Bone Marrow Donor Programme celebrates 21 years

Singapore’s only registry of bone marrow donors lists 44,000 names and averages 50 requests monthly. 

SINGAPORE: The national Bone Marrow Donor Programme (BMDP) celebrated its 21st anniversary on Thursday (July 31), with Minister for Law and Foreign Affairs K Shanmugam - the new BMDP Patron - presenting its 100th donor with a commemorative award.

Twenty-seven-year-old engineer Lim Yun Song was honoured for his voluntary commitment, which saw him saving a patient’s life this May when his bone marrow was found to be a match to the patient’s and a transplant was made. The chance of finding a donor with a matching DNA profile to the patient is only 1 in 20,000.

The BMDP manages Singapore’s only registry of bone marrow donors. It has 44,000 donors on the local register to date and receives a monthly average of 50 requests for bone marrow donations.

Bone marrow transplants are now the preferred treatment for a wide number of blood-related diseases, including leukaemia and lymphoma.

Nine BMDP volunteers donated bone marrow in the first half of this year with more scheduled, up from seven volunteers in the whole of last year.

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