The cord blood banking service offered at the Women’s Hospital through Virgin Health Bank (VHB) is based on ethics and quality. VHB provides families with a high quality, Shariah compliant cord stem cell collection, processing and cryopreservation services.
With a fee of QR12,950, the cord blood of any baby being delivered at Women’s Hospital can be stored. The fee is inclusive of collection kit, collection, transportation, testing, processing and 20 years storage.
“Ours will be the first liquid nitrogen based cryogenic facility in Qatar,” said Dr Rajan Jethwa, CEO, VHB. “We will work with doctors and midwives at HMC to provide families with transplant quality, Shariah compliant, cord blood stem cells collection, processing and cryopreservation services and our operations are licensed by the UK’s Human Tissue Authority.”
“We have no intention ever to use these samples for researches or experimenting. Our clients are paying us for storing, so no researches will be done. We aim to empower families to make informed decisions about storing their baby’s cord blood stem cells by providing them with accurate and honest information.”
After the baby is born the umbilical cord is clamped and cut, and the blood remaining in it is drawn. A sample of mother’s blood is taken and tested to make sure there are no conditions present, which need to be considered when managing the collected cord blood.
The cord blood is then transported to Virgin Health Bank’s processing and storage facilities where it is tested to establish the number and viability of the cells processed. If the sample meets the quality standards it is cryopreserved.
Once the storage is done the parents will be informed and the baby’s cord blood remains safely and securely stored for 20 years. If any transplantation is required in between, VHB will work with doctors to make the cells available. When the storage period expires the clients will be contacted to decide on further storage details.
However, if the cord blood sample is found not suitable, QR10,000 will be refunded and QR2,950 remains for the kit, administration and collection cost.
“Mostly, if the mother and the baby are healthy and there are no delivery complications, 95 percent of the sample will be viable,” Dr Jethwa said.
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