KZN: First bone marrow transplant a milestone

2011-06-29 00:00

THE Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital made history when a 16-year-old girl with acute leukaemia received a bone marrow transplant from her 14-year-old sister — the first time the procedure has been performed in KwaZulu-Natal, the Health Department said yesterday.

Akhona Xaba of Rietvlei, who has acute myeloid leukaemia, received haemopietic stem cells in a successful procedure.

Xaba will be discharged tomorrow.

Although bone marrow transplants have been performed in Cape Town for the last 20 years, it is an important milestone for KZN, Health Department spokesperson Chris Maxon said in a statement yesterday.

Until a few years ago, while Cape Town and Johannesburg had modern units, leukaemia patients in KZN were being managed on the verandah of the open wards at King Edward Hospital.

Dozens of patients died because they could not afford to go to Cape Town for transplants, or died while awaiting a transplant, Maxon said.

Said Dr Jaimendra Singh, head of the unit for clinical haematology and bone marrow transplantation, “We hope this historic first allogeneic [from a genetically similar donor] transplant will allow us the opportunity to increase awareness about the potential lifesaving treatment of bone marrow transplantation and, more importantly, highlight the need for more black donors on the South African Bone Marrow Registry.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.