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Virgin Health Bank and Doha Mums Develop Innovative Partnership to Raise Awareness on Cord Blood Banking

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Doha, Qatar – October 10, 2010 – As part of its innovative social marketing and educational strategy Virgin Health Bank is collaborating with the Doha Mums expatriate community in a series of activities designed to increase awareness of cord blood banking and its medical benefits. These activities enable expatriate families to access information and benefit from Virgin Health Bank’s transplant quality banking services.

According to Dr. Rajan Jethwa, CEO of Virgin Health Bank, increasing the awareness of cord blood stem cell banking and empowering parents to make truly informed choices about storing their baby’s cord blood are vital elements of the company’s social marketing programme. Andrew Glen, the Commercial Director at Virgin Health Bank explains, “By working with Doha Mums we’re able to discuss cord blood banking directly with interested members and also stimulate discussions within their community. We know that making information available to women early in their pregnancies is very beneficial as it ensures that they are able to make decisions about whether to have their baby’s cord blood collected without any time pressure. Our activities with the Doha Mums community complement the educational initiatives we also undertake in Qatar’s maternity hospitals and are part of a comprehensive educational programme.”

Founded in 2008 by U.S. expatriate Roxanne Piper Davis, Doha Mums is the largest network of expatriate mums in Qatar comprising over 800 mums from more than 70 countries - a figure that has doubled over the last year. On the collaboration with Virgin Health Bank, Davis says, “the expectant mums within our community really enjoy their interactions with Virgin Health Bank. Through a series of events they are able to gather information from the Virgin Health Bank team while also discussing cord blood banking with each other. The combination of these two elements and a relaxed informal environment makes this a very effective and positive initiative.”

In addition to sponsoring the group’s bi-monthly meetings for expectant mums, Virgin Health Bank participates in Doha Mums community events and advertises on the Doha Mums website.
Virgin Health Bank has been providing cord blood banking services for families in Qatar since September 2009 and works with all the maternity units in the public and private sectors. Currently collected cord blood units are transported to the UK for processing and storage at Virgin Health Bank’s UK facility, however 2011 will see Virgin Health Bank open its own state-of-the-art cord blood processing and storage facility at the Qatar Science & Technology Park in Doha.