Daily Express
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Hope for Sabah's 1,750 thalassaemia patients

Published on: Monday, June 16, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: There's hope for the 1,750 thalassaemia patients in Sabah as the cure rate is 85 per cent for patients who undergo bone marrow transplant at the Likas Women and Children Hospital.

The hospital's Director, Dr Tan Bee Hwai, said most of the registered thalassaemia patients are from Kota Marudu, Kota Belud, Pitas and Kudat.

"When all the machines have arrived, we can start the bone marrow transplant unit, which is scheduled in September this year.

"We will be creating history for Sabah. This is good news for thalassaemia, leukemia and cancer patients," he said.

"The bone marrow transplant is a highly skilled and sophisticated service.

It's the tenth bone marrow transplant unit in Malaysia, the third of its kind for government hospitals and the first of its kind in Sabah.

"If five thalassaemia patients were to undergo bone marrow transplant, four would get curedÉthat's truly satisfying for a doctor like me to hear that," he added.

Meanwhile, a wealthy man from China, Zhang Jian, who is also the founder and brainchild of Yayasan Cintai Perpaduan Malaysia, a newly established charitable foundation based in KK, presented a RM252,000 cheque for seven equipment to complement the other equipment at the bone marrow transplant unit.

"Some more equipment are coming this month and next month.

The Government has already allocated some money.

There are 280 thalassaemia patients registered in Likas hospital," said Dr Tan.

Thanking Zhang Jian for his benevolence, Dr Tan said the seven equipment are very much needed as Sabah has the highest number of thalassaemia patients in the country.

"Out of 5,000 registered thalassaemia patients, Sabah has the highest number of 1,400, that is 28 per cent," he added.

However, Dr Tan reminded the donor that the seven equipment will be returned if they do not comply with medical standards.

"Many people have great dreams. Successful people make their dreams come true. Zhang Jian is not a Malaysian, but he believes that the more charity he does, the better person he becomes. He wants to help other people," concluded Dr Tan.

Also present to witness the event were Mohd Shaharudin Baharom, Lai Chai Suang, Dr John B Klerr and Chiu Lai Har, who are the board of trustees for the foundation, and Datuk Dr Soo Thian Lian, Sabah State Consultant Paediatrician and Head of Department of Paediatrics of the Women and Children Hospital.