Rare bone marrow transplant saves Afghan baby

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Noida, March 16 (IANS) Doctors here have successfully performed a rare half-matched bone marrow transplant on an eight-month-old Afghan baby.

Mujib suffered from severe Combined Immunodeficiency — in which a person is born without a functioning immune system, increasing his or her risk of developing fatal infections — and as a result, also had high fever, pneumonia and diarrhoea.

Mujib’s two elder brothers had already lost their lives to this illness in their infancy.

Doctors at Jaypee Hospital conducted bone marrow transplant from his one surviving brother Arian, aged four years, whose blood tests confirmed normal lymphocyte counts so he could serve as a donor for his younger brother.

But, Arian had only 50 per cent match with Mujib.

“In severe Combined Immunodeficiency, the patient’s life can only be saved by bone marrow transplant but performing a half-matched bone marrow transplant on an eight-month-old baby was itself a challenging task,” Pawan Kumar Singh, Associate Consultant at Jaypee Hospital said in a statement here on Thursday.

The human immune system has white blood cells called lymphocytes which protect the body from infections. Before the transplant, Mujib had almost zero lymphocytes in his blood.

“After the transplant, his lymphocyte count has approached normal and is expected to continue to improve over the next several weeks. Mujib can now lead a normal life like other kids without the risk of fatal infections,” noted Esha Kaul, Associate Consultant at Jaypee Hospital.

–IANS

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