Spain, France and Italy join together for the first time to celebrate Bone Marrow Donor's International Day
- Between January and August of this year, 19,075 donors have been registered. 5,000 new donors more than the last year's total.
- This increase is in accordance with the anticipated objectives of the National Plan of Bone Marrow, which started at the end of last year, leaded by the ONT.
- According to ONT data, the number of bone marrow donors in Spain is now close to 126,000.
- During this year, the Autonomous Regions with higher number of donors are Andalucía, Cataluña, Valencia and Murcia.
- The Minister of Health has approved again this year a budget of 830,000 euros, same as last year, so the Autonomous Regions can finance the typing.
- The celebration of the International Day of the Bone Marrow Donor is supported by the patient associations, which have welcomed this initiative.
September 25th, 2013.- The National Plan of Bone Marrow is well under way and its results are optimistic. As of August 31st, the ONT registered an increase by 22% of the number of bone marrow donors, making a total number of 19,075.
This number is higher by 5,000 compared to the total number of donors registered in 2012 (14,010 new donors). This is in accordance with the anticipated objectives of the National Plan of Bone Marrow, which started at the end of last year, leaded by the ONT.
According to the ONT data, the number of bone marrow donors in Spain is now close to 126,000, making a total number of 125,948 as of August 31st.
Rafael Matesanz, director of the ONT, thinks that these figures represent "an achievement of the whole Spanish society" and "they show the generosity of the citizens, as well as the efforts of the National Health System and the Autonomous Regions so that all the people that need a bone marrow transplant have as many options as possible to get it."
NATIONAL PLAN OF BONE MARROW
At the end of last year, the Minister of Health approved the National Plan of Bone Marrow, leaded by the ONT, with the objective of duplicating the number of donors during the next four years. The objective is to reach 200,000 donors by the end of 2016, which makes an average of 25,000 a year.
To set this up, last year, the Health System allocated an initial budget of 830,000 euros to help the Autonomous Regions to finance half of the typings. This year, another item of 830,000 euros has been added to that one. It is the first time that the Minister of Health, Social Services and Equality allocates a specific amount to promote bone marrow donation and the corresponding typing.
According to the objectives of this Plan, during the first eight months of 2013, the ONT in collaboration with the Autonomous Regions has registered 19,075 new bone marrow donors.
In total numbers, the ranking per Regions is headed by Andalucia, with 5,461 new donors; followed by Cataluña, with 3,748; then Valencia, with 1,540; Murcia, with 1,462 and Madrid with 1,447 donors, until the 31st of August.
Number of new donors per Autonomous Regions registered between the 1st of January and the 31st of August 2013 and total number of accumulative donors per Autonomous Regions.
ALTRUISM WITHOUT BORDERS
The ONT has published these data coinciding with the International Bone Marrow Donor's Day that will be celebrated the next 28th of September for the first time in Spain together with France and Italy.
It is an initiative of the South Transplant Alliance, formed by Spain, France and Italy, which has the objective to thank all the donors for their generosity and raise citizens' awareness of the importance of bone marrow and umbilical cord blood donations.
Rafael Matesanz points that 'citizens' solidarity is one of the main aspects of the public transplant systems that exists in the South of Europe, such as Spain, France and Italy and that we must preserve." That's why this initiative is important in the way that it will contribute to promote even more the culture of donation in these countries.
For Alessandro Nanni Costa, director of the National Centre of Transplants of Italy and currently the president of the South Transplant Alliance, "the celebration of this day will contribute to enforce the ongoing collaboration regarding transplants between the Mediterranean countries."
This opinion is shared by Enmanuelle Prada, general director of the French Biomedicine Agency, which is the organism in charge of the transplants, for whom the bone marrow donation is a gesture of altruism without borders. "Bone marrow is never donated to a specific person, but to a genetically close patient, although they can live a thousand kilometres, in another country or continent."
The International Bone Marrow Donor's Day that has been very well welcomed by the patients' associations in all three countries.
You can find more information concerning bone marrow donation in the ONT webpage (www.ont.es)