Brazil Expands Umbilical Cord Blood Banks. Country Depends 90% on Imports.

By the beginning of next year, Brazil’s public system of umbilical cord blood banks (Brasilcord) will be expanded by the start-up of blood banks in Ribeirão Preto and Campinas, both in the interior of the state of São Paulo.

The system is currently formed by units in the National Cancer Institute (Inca), regarded as the hub of the system, and the Albert Einstein Hospital, in the same state.

This information was furnished by the head of the Inca Bone Marrow Transplant Center, Luiz Fernando Bouzas. He believes that the expansion of public umbilical cord blood banks in Brazil can reduce the country’s dependency upon imports of this material. According to Bouzas, this dependency currently amounts to 90%.

"Umbilical cord blood is being used more and more as a source of stem cells for bone marrow transplants," he said.

According to Bouzas, when a person doesn’t have a donor in the family, he or she must resort to looking for a donor on the list of voluntary donors, who are adults capable of donating this material, or in the umbilical cord blood banks. More than half of the blood used in Brazil for transplants when there is no family donor is umbilical cord blood.

The cost nowadays of an imported stem cell unit is around US$ 30,000, equivalent to 70,000 reais. Whereas in Brazil, the cost of freezing a unit is US$ 1,500 – approximately 3,500 reais. "In other words, there is a significant difference between seeking it abroad and storing it here."

Bouzas pointed out that since September, 2004, 10% of the umbilical cord blood used in transplants in Brazil has come from the Inca blood bank. "This is an important fact. If the other blood banks begin operations, we are certain that Brazil will save money in the search for foreign sources and will acquire agility in finding donors within the country itself."

Besides the two blood banks in the state of São Paulo, the Ministry of Health is analyzing projects for umbilical cord blood banks in the Clinical Hospitals of the University of Porto Alegre and the Federal University of Paraná and the blood centers of Pará, Pernambuco, and Minas Gerais. "They are projects under consideration for earmarking resources and incorporating into the system," Bouzas explained.

According to the Inca specialist, the average cost of creating an umbilical cord blood bank, from the planning stage (construction and equipment) to full operation, comes to US$ 666,000 (1.5 million reais).

Agência Brasil

Tags:

You May Also Like

Despite 17% Boost in Exports, Brazil’s Trade Surplus Fell 14% in 2007

Brazil's trade balance ended the year of 2007 with a surplus of US$ 40 ...

Brazil Calls Itself Safe Haven for Arab Money

The tour Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took of five countries in ...

Brazilian shantytown

Brazilians Deserve a Cup Break. They’ll Soon Be Back to Crime and Inequality.

The Brazilian authorities have every reason to be grateful that the soccer World Cup ...

Brazil’s Oil Multinational Petrobras Strikes Oil Again

Brazil's state-controlled oil multinational Petrobras announced this Wednesday, after the exchange market had already ...

Brazil Uneasy About US Soldiers on Its Borders

“Another Amazon is possible” will be the slogan in Manaus from today (18 January) ...

Mining Investments in Brazil to Reach US$ 47 Billion By 2013

The mining industry in Brazil should receive US$ 47 billion in investment in the ...

Saudi Sell Brazilian Company to Colombian Group

Saudi company Amiantit has decided to sell 70% of its operations in subsidiary Amitech ...

Hollywood Celeb and Author Eric Schiffer Gets Bodyguards in Brazil

When a socialite goes on vacation in a third world country, how does he ...

RAPIDINHAS

This series is  the result of Steve Seid’s trip to Brazil where he was ...

Brazil: Evoking a Time When 20% of Rio’s Population Was Arab

Rio de Janeiro, later this year, should get a book about Arab immigration to ...