The 18th Asia-Pacific Blood and Marrow Transplantation (APBMT) Congress and the second southern blood transfusion and haematology meeting took place in Ho Chi Minh City on November 1-3.

The events attracted nearly 900 delegates, including experts from hospitals nationwide as well as scientists and haematological experts from the European Haematology Association and the APBMT.

The meetings served as a forum for domestic and regional scientists to share experience in stem cell transplantation, the treatment of malignant haematological diseases, and blood transfusion, as well as exchange views on recent progress in the field.

According to experts, the haematopoietic stem cell transplantation method has become more important in the treatment of hereditary, malignant and high risk diseases.

The meetings also offered a good chance for Vietnam to learn from leading haematological experts in Asia-Pacific and the world at large, they said.

Director of Ho Chi Minh City’s Hospital of Haematology and Blood Transfusion Phu Chi Dung pointed to difficulties Vietnam is facing in conducting stem cell transplants. They include poor infrastructure, high costs and limited cell sources.

Since the first case in July 1995, Vietnam has conducted 250 stem cell transplants, mostly in Ho Chi Minh City.

The first APBMT congress was held in 1990 and has been organised annually since 2004. The group now has 19 members, including Vietnam.-VNA