Cord Blood Banking: The Prospects and Challenges of Implementation in Nigeria

Olayanju AO
2017 Hematology & Transfusion International Journal  
From time immemorial, umbilical cord blood has been regarded as a waste product that has been discarded along with the placenta. It is now known to contain potentially life-saving hematopoietic-progenitor stem cell that has been used successfully as an alternative allogeneic donor source to treat a variety of pediatric genetic, hematologic, immunologic, and oncologic disorders. Stem cells from umbilical cord blood also offers several distinct advantages over bone marrow or peripheral stem
more » ... hence the need to bank it. These scientific advances have resulted in the establishment of not-for-profit (public) and forprofit (private) cord blood-banking programs for allogeneic and autologous cord blood transplantation. Recently, cord blood cells are used for cellular therapy and regenerative medicine as an alternative natural source of treatment. Advantages of umbilical cord blood stem cells over bone marrow stem cells for transplants include: ease of collection; reduced risk of transmission of infection; reduced processing time; and rejection of samples etc. However, cord blood is disadvantaged in that the volume collected is fixed and relatively small; engraftment takes longer time and there may be transmission of the rare genetic diseases of the blood or immune system etc. Issues confronting intending institutions are: the policies, ethical issues and the challenges faced. Implementation of cord blood banking in Nigeria as a developing country is challenging due to: finance, religious and traditional beliefs, erratic power supply, lack of awareness of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant, lack of technical expertise etc. The use of Stem cell therapy is advancing in medical research and therefore this would be a major achievement in the medical sector if it is fully implemented in Nigeria.
doi:10.15406/htij.2017.05.00126 fatcat:xmzmwpadobblfk7kxdvfe6kttq