Bahamas Eyes Future as Stem Cell Hub

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Above: Bahamas Health Minister Dr Perry Gomez

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The Bahamas has big plans for stem cell medicine.

The country’ has officially launched its “stem cell industry,” Health Minister Dr Perry Gomez announced at a ceremony last week.

The first stem cell operation to have received provisional approval by the government is the Okyanos Heart Institute in Grand Bahama, which Gomez said was “state-of-the-art and the most sophisticated ‘Cath Lab’ in the entire English-speaking Caribbean.”

The stem cell industry uses stem cells to provide therapy for patients of various ailments; at Okyanos, for example, the facility uses adult cells harvested from adult adipose, or fat, tissue for cardiac therapy.

“The Stem Cell industry is not only research and therapy, but it has ushered in a new era of quality standards, monitoring, analysis and evaluating, utilizing cutting-edge healthcare information with real time technology,” Gomez said. “The possibilities are endless [with] the Bahamas poised to reap the many benefits of Stem Cell research for years to come.”

Stem cells are able to transform into a number of different kinds of cells in the body, hence their vast potential for medical treatment.

In order to practice stem cell medicine in the Bahamas, approved facilities must “meet standards of the highest quality in all aspects of professional best practices,” according to the country’s government.

“Stem Cell research represents one of the most exciting and promising frontiers for treating people with a myriad of diseases and conditions (and along with Stem Cell therapy) represents perhaps the greatest opportunity to fulfill the ancient call to heal the sick, relieve suffering and improve the quality of life for untold millions of people,” Gomez said.

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