Health Minister Dr. Ahmet Demircan met with the patients and donors on the occasion of the 3rd anniversary of TÜRKÖK (Stem Cell Coordination Center of Turkey) Project executed by the Ministry of Health and Turkish Red Crescent.
Underlining the importance of helping each other with blood and life, Dr. Dermican added that “Saving a life is like saving the whole humanity. I wish them all a long life. We are witnessing this unique feeling here together.”
“We aim to reach 500 thousands voluntary donors”
While TÜRKÖK targeted to reach 250 thousands voluntary donors within 5 years, it became 310 thousands at the end of the third year. Now it is targeted to reach 500 thousands voluntary donors in the shortest possible time.
So far, TÜRKÖK has helped 636 patients half of whom are children, and 40% of the unrelated transplantations in 2016 and almost 50% in 2017 were performed by using the stem cells obtained from the TÜRKÖK donors. Health Minister Dr. Dermican summarized the situation by adding that “We have 83 bone marrow transplantation centers. In 2017, we performed 4099 bone marrow transplantations.”
“TÜRKÖK was established three years ago in order to find suitable donors for the patients waiting for unrelated bone marrow transplantation. Previously, the necessary stem cells were brought from abroad within 6-8 months but now we can obtain them within 3 months, which is very important for the patients who are racing against time.” said Dr. Demircan.
The only treatment is the voluntary donors for these people so Health Minister made a call to all healthy and sensitive citizens between the age of 18 and 50 to become donors.
During his speech, Dr. Kerem Kınık, President of the Turkish Red Crescent, said addressing to the donors that “You are the accepted prayers of the patients.”
Health Minister Dr. Dermican and Dr. Kınık gave presents to the donors and patients who recovered their health.
Being the first meeting of the donors and patients, it caused touching and emotional moments.