Every year, hundreds of South Africans with blood diseases such as leukaemia reach the point where their only chance of survival is a bone marrow transplant. For about 30% of patients, a matched donor can be found in their own family; for the other 70%, their only hope is to find a matched unrelated donor identified by the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR).
The SABMR was established in 1991, motivated by the concern that although bone marrow transplants were a life-saving treatment option, they were only available to patients with a matching donor in their family. Today, the SABMR searches both locally and internationally for donors, thereby making collaboration with international registries and observing universal standards of practice essential. An internationally recognised registry, the SABMR is a member of the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) and was founded in Cape Town in 1991.
Its mission is to save lives and provide hope for all patients in need of bone marrow stem cell transplantation and future therapies, by creating awareness, expanding the Registry, embracing evolving technology and enhancing stakeholder relationships to the benefit of the community.
The SABMR has over 73,000 donors on its database. Through its participation with Bone Marrow Donors worldwide, the SABMR has access to over 31 million donors worldwide.
Registered as a non-profit company and a Section 18A Public Benefit Organisation (Reg No 2013/152553/08, 004-003 NPO), the SABMR is governed by a dedicated Board of specialist professionals.