The Bone Marrow Transplant Unit (BMT) at Lady Ridgway Hospital (LRH), the first-ever Paediatric allogeneic stem cell transplant centre in the government health sector, is considered as a landmark step in national healthcare development in Sri Lanka. This unit was fully funded by the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka and was declared open by Hon. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksha on 1st of October 2020.
LRH BMT programme has established a partnership with Christian Medical College Vellore Haematology Department which runs the largest BMT programme in India performing transplants since 1986, for technical and clinical guidance.
This BMT Unit is dedicated to cater for children with many inherited and acquired haematological disorders such as thalassaemia and Bone marrow aplasia as well as certain inherited immune system disorders for which stem cell transplant is the only potential lifetime cure. It is also considered as a cost-effective treatment when the cost for lifelong supportive care and psychosocial and economic burden of chronic disease is taken into account.
Bone marrow transplant unit has the capacity of two patient rooms fully equipped with infection control precautions including positive pressure and HEPA filtration. Headed by Consultant Haematologists, a multidisciplinary medical specialist team including Paediatrician, Transfusion Specialist, Microbiologist and specially trained dedicated Medical officers & a nursing team provides comprehensive care for children undergoing a transplant. This dedicated clinical team will help the child to undergo this long process of stem cell transplant, which includes the killing of own diseased stem cells by conditioning chemotherapy, stem cell harvesting from a matched donor, stem cell transfusion and nursing in this specialized unit with supportive care and medication until the healthy marrow starts functioning.
The expansion of the unit is already underway and will be in the upcoming 12 story building.