Cord Blood Banking Services in Nigeria; the Earlier the Better








Cord Blood Banking Services in Nigeria; the Earlier the Better 

Musa Abidemi MUHIBI; PhD, FWAPCMLS, FMLSCN; Professor of Haematology and Uchejeso Mark OBETA; M Sc, MPA, AMLSCN; Assistant Director, Medical Laboratory Services 

Haematology and Blood Transfusion Laboratory, Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Edo State University, Uzairue, Edo State, Nigeria


Volume 1, Issue 2&3: page 180-182 | 2022. ARTICLE ID: 2022AJLHTS0018 www.hbtssn.org/ajlhts ISSN (Print):2814-0591; (Online): 2814-0605 

African Journal of Laboratory Haematology and Transfusion Science 

2Federal School of Medical Laboratory Science, Jos, Nigeria


Author: Musa Abidemi Muhibi




Received: June 6


Accepted: August 30


Published: September 

30, 2022 

for the purposes 

Dear Editor, Blood banking services has existed in Nigeria for ages of transfusion services. Though, there are successes achieved with the blood transfusion services, one of the major challenges is that the whole blood or blood components used cannot serve as sources of stem cells, whereas cord blood can. The unavailability of cord blood banks to provide such services creates a huge gap in the medical services thereby creating opportunities for medical tourism and capital flight

Inherited Haemoglobin and blood disorders abound in Nigeria and have caused numerous and repeated blood transfusions among the patients. In medical care, Nigeria for example, inherited haemoglobin variant disorders include but not limited to HbS and HbC variant haemoglobin molecules as seen in Sickle cell diseases; beta thalasemias; compound beta and HbE thalasemias; and some form of non deletional alpha thalasemias. Affected individuals who are always supported by multiple regular blood transfusion may have some relief with availability of cord blood (1)

Cord blood from umbilical cord that is collected after delivery can be used as an alternative to bone marrow when transfused to haemoglobinopathy and other diseases sufferers for restoring immunological dysfunctions and for other transplantations. The cord blood stem cells, with available record, has shown that over 80 diseases. can be cured after over 50,000 transplants that were successfully done across the globe (2)

There is no doubt that haematology related diseases across the globe are equally present in Nigeria. Such diseases which can be classified into: Cancers Acute lymphocytic leukemia, Acute myelogenous leukemia, Chronic myelogenous leukemia, Myelodysplastic syndrome, Neuroblastoma, Hodgkin’s disease

Afr J Lab Haem Trans Sci 2022, 1(2): 180 182 

Muhibi & Obeta / Cord Blood Banking Services in Nigeria 


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NonHodgkins lymphoma, and Burkitts lymphomaand Blood disorders Sicklecell anaemia, Fanconis anaemia, Thalassemia, Evans syndrome, congenital cytopenia, Aplastic anaemia, DiamondBlackfan ana e mia, and Amegakaryocytic thrombocytopeniaabound in Nigeria. Others are congenital metabolic disorders Adrenoleukodystrophy, Gunthers disease, Gauchers disease, Hurlers syndrome, Hunters syndrome, Krabbes disease, Sanfilippos syndrome, and TaySachsdisease; and finally Immunodeficiencies Adenosine deaminase deficiency, Wiskott Aldrichs syndrome, Duncan‘s disease, Ataxiatelangiectasia, DiGeorges syndrome, Myelokathexis, Hypogammaglobulinemia and Severe Combined immunodeficiency. These diseases have been shown to have been treated with stem cells of cord blood origin (2). Haemoglobinopathies, especially sickle cell disease (SCD), is common in West Africa, Nigeria inclusive. The SCD traits have a prevalence rate of 25% and up to 30,000 children are born yearly with SCD (3)

Cord blood storage and supply should be encouraged in Nigeria, as it would be of great importance for both autologous for infants and allogeneic for others in need of the stem cells. Not minding the small quantity of blood involved and possible transmission of rare genetic disease with cord blood, it is better than bone marrow because of ease of collection, reduced samples rejection, processing time and risk of infection transmission

Basically, the practice in Nigeria across the regions and tribes is discarding of umbilical cords by burial after delivery. This is out right wastage of good source of Haemopoietic Stem Cells (HSC) including CD34and CD‘s haematopoietic progenitor cells that could save lives more than expected. There is an urgent need to raise awareness to the public especially the reproductive ages on the need for saving the life saving products gotten from umbilical cords especially now that Muhibi et al. have discovered a safe alternative in resourcepoor setting to store stem cells in a cryoprotective agents like glycerine at 20°C for up to 6 months (4). This reveals that cord blood banking is possible in Nigeria

The effort of the National Blood Service Commission shall be incomplete without interest in Cord Blood Banking (CBB). All hands of various medical professionals, agencies and policy makers should as a matter of urgency be on deck to consider CBB as early as possible through policies and infrastructural development. The earlier the better as CBB would contribute to medical tourism and capital flight reduction and in turn strengthen Nigeria health system through good management of Haemoglobinopathy and other Diseases


Afr J Lab Haem Trans Sci 2022, 1(2): 180 182 


Muhibi & Obeta / Cord Blood Banking Services in Nigeria 


Journal of Cellular Pathology, 11(1), 1

Angastiniotis, M. (2013). Epidemiology of Haemoglobinopathies. In: 3. Ang astiniotis M, Eleftheriou A, Galanello R; Prevention of Thalassaemias and Other Haemoglobin Disorders: Vol.1: Chapter 2; Principles [Internet]. 2nd edition. Thalassaemia International Federation, 24672827. Siva ku maran, N., Rathnayaka, I.R., Shabbir, 4. R., Wimalsinghe, S.S., Sumalimina, J.A., Jayakody, S. & Chandrasekaran, M. (2018). Umbilical Cord Blood Banking and its Therapeutic Uses

International Journal of Scientific Research and Innovative Technology. 5(1), Olayanju, A.O., Nkanga, A.E., Olay anju, A.J., Oluwatayo, B.O., Adesina, O., Enitan, S.S. & Oladele, A.A. (2017). Cord blood banking: the prospects and challenges of implementation in Nigeria. Hematology and Transfusion International Journal, 5(4), 273278. Muhibi, M.A., Mabayoje, V.O. & Komolafe, J.O. (2019). CD34 positive stem cells recovered from cord blood remain viable after six months of cryoprotective storage process. African 


Afr J Lab Haem Trans Sci 2022, 1(2): 180 18

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biochemical iron values of blood donors in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Hematology. 2009; 14(6):36670. Jacob R B, Azia M G, Christian S.G, RobinsonMbato L, Eze E.M. Prevalence of Lewis A, Rhc, Mand ABO/RhD Antigens in Bonny Kingdom Rivers State Nigeria, Journal of Medical and Dental Science Research, 2021;8(6): 1521. Book The Institute of Medicine. A Populationbased Policy and Systems Change Approach to Prevent and Control Hypertension. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press; 2010. Edited Book Namey E, Guest G, Thairu L, Johnson L. Data reduction techniques for large qualitative data sets. In: Guest G, MacQueen KM, eds. Handbook for Team 

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