Chennai's Jeevan stem cell bank gets free kit from Rotary

Chennai's Jeevan Stem Cell Bank, India's only non-profit public bank for stem cells, on Wednesday received a donation of stem cell harvesting equipment from the Rotary Foundation.

Speaking at a function after the donation, Dr Saranya Narayan, co-founder and medical director of the Jeevan Blood Bank and Research Centre, explained how cord blood stem cells (hematopoietic stem cells) have been successfully used to treat several life-threatening diseases, especially blood disorders such as thalassemia, leukaemia, and other blood and immune system diseases.

Costing about Rs25 lakh, the new equipment would help harvest stem cells efficiently with much less risk of contamination compared to the manual process of harvesting stem cells. With nearly 42,000 registered childbirths everyday, India can greatly contribute towards the cure of blood and blood-related diseases through stem cells, Narayan added.

W Anand Governor of Rotary International 3230 thanked the Rotary Club of Madras East and the Rotary Club of Makati Ayala (Philippines) for donating the stem cell harvesting equipment to Jeevan Blood and Stem Cell Bank and Research Centre.

Narayan also urged the Rotary Foundation to add stem cells to the bouquet of projects it runs at the national level.