THE umbilical cords of babies born in the era of our mothers or grandmothers were usually treated as an insignificant part of the babies and were either thrown away or kept for cultural or traditional purposes.
At that time, many did not know the umbilical cord blood, which is rich in versatile stem cells, can be stored for future use and can actually save lives.
Parents in today’s rapidly progressing world are more aware about the usage of umbilical cord blood.
Understanding the importance of umbilical cord and stem cells, StemTech International Sdn Bhd, a centre that provides hi-tech stem services, was launched recently in Kota Damansara.
The centre, a subsidiary of TMC Life Sciences Berhad (TMC Group), a company listed on the Mesdaq board of Bursa Malaysia, was launched by the Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad.
Abdul Latiff, borrowing Star War’s "May the force be with you" catch phrase, said it is the role of the ministry to ensure that cord blood bank service providers operate on high processing standards and according to proper ethical guidelines for the benefit of the general public.
"I have been informed that StemTech International is one of the few cord blood banks in Malaysia to have attained its licence under the Private Healthcare Facilities Services Act 1998 (Act 586)," he said.
Collecting the cord blood, which can only be done when a mother delivers her baby, offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to obtain stem cells. Stem cells are primarily used to replace bone marrow depleted or destroyed by disease or chemotherapy and are used to treat more than 75 serious diseases including Type 1 diabetes, damaged eyes and rare skin disorders.
The umbilical collection is a painless process and only takes a few minutes. A personalised Umbilical Cord Blood Collection Kit will be given to those who register with StemTech International.
The mothers have to bring the kit to the hospital at the time of delivery and collection begins after the umbilical cord has been cut and clamped. Healthcare professionals will insert the needle of the collection bag into the vein of the umbilical cord and approximately 80ml to 90ml of cord blood will be obtained.
Each kit will be labelled and given a registration number to ensure proper identification of the cord blood sample once it arrives at the laboratory for processing.
"By being part of the TMC Life Sciences Group, parents and the general public can be assured of the high-quality standards in services at StemTech International. This is because from day one, our commitment at TMC Life Sciences has always been towards achieving medical excellence, which is embodied in our fertility business, and now, in StemTech International as well," said TMC Life Sciences and StemTech International chairman Prof Datuk Dr Khalid Kadir.
StemTech International, formed in late 2007, will soon be offering adult stem cells banking as well as stem cell medical therapy through the TMC Group’s flagship hospital, the Tropicana Medical Centre.
For more information on Stem Cells Banking and Therapy, call the centre’s hotline +6016-205 7000 or email email@example.com.