The Chennai based SIMS (SRM Institutes for Medical Science) Hospitals, one of the leading super speciality quaternary care hospitals in Tamil Nadu, announced recently (2nd Nov. 2019), the launch of its standalone dedicated Stem Cell (Bone Marrow) Transplant Unit, at its Vadapalani facility in Chennai. On the same occasion SIMS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with “College of Healthcare Innovations, UK”.
Stem Cell Transplant Unit
Inaugurated by Mr. Vaughan Gething AM, the Hon’ble Minister for Health and Social Services, Wales, UK, the Stem Cell Transplant (SCT) unit with a state-of-the-art facility will provide effective life saving treatment for life threatening malignant and non-malignant disorders. SCT will help patients afflicted with resistant malignancies like leukemia (blood cancer), lymphomas (malignancies of the lymph nodes) and multiple myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow itself) and also non-malignant disorders like Thalassemia and Sickle cell anemia.
Speaking at the press conference Dr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra – Director, Institute of Oncology at SIMS, also considered as the pioneer in the field of Medical Oncology, said, “The new SCT unit will bring in International level health care to patients in India, with requisite expertise and facilities to carry out all types of SCT i.e. Autologous, Allogenic and Haplo Identical procedures. There are isolated sterile units to perform the procedures, especially for patients suffering from blood cancer and neutropenia. With a team of 4 surgical oncologists, 2 Radiation physicians and a Medical Oncologist, the Institute of Oncology at SIMS provides comprehensive and multidisciplinary Cancer care in Chennai.”
“Adult and pediatric stem cell transplants will be offered at a reasonably affordable cost which are economical than the other healthcare providers,” he added.
Also, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with College of Healthcare Innovations UK, marking the beginning of a new International relationship between the two institutions. The purpose of the agreement is to develop educational and academic cooperation, in addition to promoting mutual understanding between SIMS, Chennai and Healthcare Innovations, UK.
This MoU was signed between Prof. Keshav Singhal, Program Director, College of Healthcare Innovations, UK and Dr. Raju Sivasamy, Vice President, SIMS Hospitals.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ravi Pachamoothoo, Chairman, SRM Group, said, “The new stem cell transplant unit is another feather in the cap for the SIMS family. Cancer is a result of error in the genetic combination of cells and there are more than 100 different types of Cancers. And not all Cancers form tumours, such as leukemia. Each cancer is different and so is their treatment. Nevertheless, in recent years the treatment for cancer has improved by great leaps, which facilitates effective treatment for many types of cancers. This gives hope to many patients to return to normal after treatment. When cancer is detected early, patients stand better chance of recovery. Therefore, people should shed the hesitation to undergo regular cancer screening and consult a specialist if there is any symptom.”
Mr. Vaughan Gething AM appreciated the efforts put in by SIMS to improve the survival chances of cancer patients. He also emphasized on the fact that “Early detection is key to Effective Treatment of Cancers”. He said, “We should work together for enhancing awareness regarding preventive cancer screening.”
Commenting on the MoU, Mr. Gething said, “This MoU will foster an International collaborative partnership and open up new frontiers for Indian students, as well as the students from Wales, with enriching academic programs that will mutually benefit them and their faculties who wish to pursue either short-term or extended programs of higher learning study in each other’s institutions. Also they will be exposed to a truly global perception of healthcare as the program will cover a spectrum of both scholarly and cultural interactions, in addition to cooperative research, with both student and staff exchange.”
Prof. Keshav Singhal, Program Director, College of Healthcare Innovations, UK said, “The breadth of this agreement is testament to the benefit it will bring to both the institutions. We have together agreed to develop collaborative activities in academic areas of mutual interest, paving the way for PG students of SIMS to study in UK and vice-versa. I am delighted that our students and faculties will have the opportunity to train at SIMS Chennai and we look forward to welcoming their students to our Wales Campus. This will also strengthen the bond between Tamil Nadu and Wales, thus promoting friendship and cooperation on mutual understanding across academic, cultural and personal exchanges.”
The MoU will enable and support the following:
- To identify opportunities for exchange of faculty, research staff and undergraduate students.
- To establish programs that will enable interested and qualified students and university personnel to pursue either short-term or extended programs of study in each other’s Institutions and to facilitate visits at Institutes of higher learning.
- To promote exchanges in graduate studies, continuing education, and flexible/distance learning
- To exchange information in the fields those are of interest to both parties
- To cooperate in training projects for specific areas of research and to cooperate in clinical training
- To provide consultation service for curriculum development