The Initiative to establish a registry of stem cell donors was submitted to the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Republic of Srpska, and its submitters are the Human Rights House Banja Luka (Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Banja Luka, UG “Hi Neighbour”, Banja Luka Centre for Human Rights, Center for Environment, Transparency International BiH, Foundation United Women, UG “M’UDAR” and the Organization of Amputees UDAS of the Republic of Srpska).
The right to life is one of the basic human rights. This right often depends on the good will and desire of other people to donate their stem cells or organs in order to save another person’s life, but also on the health system that should enable it.
Seeing that there is no register of stem cell donors in the Republic of Srpska, and encouraged by the cases of our fellow citizens Danijela and Katarina, who are waiting for a bone marrow transplant from related donors, we submitted an initiative to establish a donor register in the Republic of Srpska, and if possible in the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or to consider other options that would ensure that people suffering from malignant blood diseases receive appropriate treatment and care.
In the conversation with the Blood Transfusion Institute of Serbia, we understood that they are ready to help and actively participate in the establishment of the registry of stem cell donors in the Republic of Srpska.
This cooperation should be established at the level of relevant ministries, and could start with the sending of a Letter of Intent by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Republic of Srpska.
There are currently more than 18,000 potential donors in the Register of Hematopoesis Stem Cell Donors of Serbia. The Register of voluntary donors of hematopoietic stem cells of Croatia, which began operating in 2009 thanks to the efforts of the Ana Rukavina Foundation, has more than 62,000 potential donors.
We do not have any.
We believe that this should change and that people who want to donate stem cells in order to save the lives of someone’s child, brother, sister, mother, father, should be given that opportunity.
We sincerely hope that the authorities will consider our initiative and find modalities for establishing the register. Saving the lives of patients must be a priority.