Maldives begins bone marrow match test

A thalassemia patient receiving blood transfusions.

Maldives has begun cross-match tests for bone marrow transplantation officially on Wednesday.

At the ceremony held to commemorate World Thalassemia Day, Minister of Health Dr. Abdulla Khaleel remarked bone marrow transplantation previously required strenuous efforts, for which the patient, donor and their families need to fly abroad for the surgery.

"So, in both economical terms and time consumption, parents have been making sacrifices, but with God's grace, and with the President's initiation, today we can undergo the test here in the Maldives," Dr. Khaleel said.

Speaking at the ceremony, Khaleel said the first test in the Maldives took place on March 7, when 13 patients underwent testing. Meanwhile, the second round of testing will begin either in May or June.

"This truly is a monumental success for us in our efforts to provide ease for the patients who go through a lot of pain," Dr. Khaleel added.

Earlier, President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu emphasized the current government will give extra attention to thalassemia patients, with this promise already in action with the currently in-development hospital specifically for thalassemia patients.

Statistics from Maldivian Blood Services show 659 registered thalassemia patients currently receive regular transfusions.