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Show care to children undergoing stem cell transplants

The contents of the care packs are designed to occupy and bring comfort to patients while they are isolated before and after the procedure.

In the realm of paediatric healthcare, few journeys are as challenging and emotionally taxing as those of a child undergoing a stem cell transplant procedure.

In the wake of this life-altering process, paediatric patients and their families often navigate a landscape fraught with uncertainty, fear and emotional upheaval.

To help, the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR) supports patients and their families with care packs to alleviate emotional and psychological burdens of these financially strained families.

The contents of the care packs are designed to occupy and bring comfort to patients while isolated before and after the procedure.

Zaahier Isaacs, head of patient services at the SABMR, said for patients in low to middle-income countries, like South Africa, where resources are constrained, the aftermath of a stem cell transplant procedure can be particularly challenging. “

He added, “To further roll out this initiative to at least 100 more patients, the SABMR requires funding from corporates and public donors. While the care packs will initially be distributed to beneficiaries on their patient assistance programme, the aim is to roll this out to all patients referred to the SABMR.”

Isaacs invited companies and individuals to donate the following items to the care packs:

• Colouring and activity books, pencils and markers

• Games, puzzles, brainteasers (playing cards, Lego, fidget toys)

• Motivational or inspirational books

• Neck pillow, eye mask

• Journal and pen for writing

• Resistance bands to help strengthen muscles

• Face cloth, toothbrush and other hygiene items

• Lotion and lip balm for dry skin and lips

• Hot and cold packs for pain management

• Nasal spray for dry nostrils

• Thermal flask

• Food and toiletry vouchers

• Coffee and tea sachets for parents/caregivers

• Teddy bears or soft toys

• Torch (for load-shedding or use at night)

• Transplant information guidebook compiled by the SABMR

Also included in the care packs is a detailed guide for patients and their families on what to expect from the transplant and the science behind the therapies.

If you want to get involved with the SABMR care pack initiative, contact Isaacs at patients@sabmr.co.za or call the SABMR head office on 021 447 8638.

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