New appointments set to reinforce the Singapore BMDP’s tireless efforts to educate the public, increase donor pool in the register and find matching donors for patients in its 25th year of saving lives.
The Bone Marrow Donor Programme (BMDP) now has both a Board President, Dr Lim Zi Yi and a new CEO, Mr Charles Loh, to helm Singapore’s only register of volunteer bone marrow donors.
The recent appointments will bring about fresh perspectives and different approaches to overcome challenges and lead an effective team in a rapidly evolving charity landscape.
The BMDP was established in 1993 to save lives. It is a non-profit organisation responsible for building and managing Singapore’s only register of volunteer donors who are willing to donate their bone marrow and help those who need a transplant to survive. Its mission is to provide hope for patients with leukaemia, lymphoma and other blood-related diseases by finding them an unrelated matching bone marrow donor, their last hope of survival.
Dr Lim Ziyi joined BMDP as an Executive Committee Member in June 2014, was elected to be Vice President in June 2016 and became President at the recent Annual General Meeting held in May 2018. He is a specialist in haemato-oncology and haematopoietic stem cell transplantation working in the private sector.
Shares Dr Lim, “Bone marrow transplantation is an important life-saving procedure, and it is crucial that we have a large and diverse pool of donors in our national registry to achieve our aim of ensuring that every patient who needs a transplant has a matched donor. We aim to increase public awareness on bone marrow transplant, and to encourage all young healthy Singaporeans to come forward and volunteer to be a donor. By signing up as a bone marrow donor, one has an amazing opportunity to potentially save someone’s life.”
Mr Charles Loh has prior experience as a management consultant as well as in managing operations both locally and in the region. A highlight in his career was his stint as the Senior Vice President in Certis CISCO, managing the non-security business which deploys 1,500 personnel. He is known to play a pivotal role in turning around businesses and operations through process re-engineering and organisation development.
Charles says, “We can do more to increase the number of local donors, strengthen collaboration with the global network of registries and enhance the public education of blood diseases. From conducting talks at schools and tertiary institutions to holding roadshows at malls and talks at multi-national corporations, working with statutory boards and ministries to speaking with business leaders and celebrity personalities, there are many untouched channels to create greater awareness amongst Singaporeans.”
“We are glad that our IPC status has been renewed for another year and we can now look forward to implementing our plans,” he added.
Charles also noted the low representation of Singaporean donors from the Malay and Indian communities in the register and highlighted that more should be done to increase minority sign-ups and raise the chances of finding a match for all patients in our multiracial society. He finds it crucial to draw attention to blood disorders by presenting numbers and facts, and dispelling myths and misconceptions about bone marrow donation.
As the BMDP celebrates 25 years of saving lives this year, it aims to create a bigger impact with higher sign-ups to be a bone marrow donor, greater identification of matching donors, more unrelated bone marrow or blood stem cells donations and contribute to a global mission to save lives. With a collective effort to extend its outreach, engage the community, and grow the register, the BMDP is moving closer to saving more lives today and into the future.