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Become a bone marrow donor and save lives

Become a bone marrow donor and save lives

The Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) and the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR) are busy building a robust Africa Stem Cell (Bone Marrow) Registry and are looking for people to register for screening to become donors. To register to become a donor go to and register.

CAN Chief Executive, Rolf Hansen said they have made great strides to automate and more easily navigate the ‘Donor Application Drive’ for more interested persons.

“Every year, thousands of people with leukaemia, other blood diseases, and immune disorders reach a point where the only possible cure is a bone marrow transplant and that is why we need to keep registering donors, to give every patient an equal chance at finding a match. You could be a match for a patient who is right now waiting on their miracle donor,” said Hansen.

He further explained that some patients will need a compatible donor in their family, but for most, they will need a stranger’s help, a stranger with their exact type of bone marrow tissue, but with thousands of tissue types, finding that match is just a 1 in a 100,000 chance.

“This is why SABMR is constantly looking to increase their database both in numbers as well as ethnic diversity, however potential donor need to fulfil certain criteria relating to age and health,” he added.

He noted that SABMR now allows applicants between the ages of 16 to 45 and they will dispatch a cheek swab either via courier or make arrangements for an appointment to complete this all free of charge at one of their nearest partners guided by CAN.

“Register for screening to become a donor and click on the Namibia drop-down tab in the online form and you will be contacted to pave the way forward to help impact lives,” he concluded.


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.