Bicocca Global Health Mosul

Start-up of the first Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Unit – Blood Disease Hospital – Iraq

The project design is based on the capacity building model which aims to strengthen the already existing resources (both material and professional) in order to enhance competencies and skills of health care professionals who can guarantee better clinical outcomes and quality of care.  The main goal is to empower the partner country, promoting scientific excellence. The project is totally English based in training, reporting, meetings and clinical recording.

The professionals who carried out the project belong to the MBBM Foundation/IRCCS San Gerardo dei Tintori and are supported by the Children Global Medicine Group of the Comitato Maria Letizia Verga.

Key Information

The capacity building methodology is mainly focused on training, even on the job and by remote assistance, which constitutes the base of empowerment together with:

  • Educational course for doctors, nurses, biologists, technicians and psychologists

  • Seminars and teleconferences

  • Creation of a protocol handbook with all Standard Operative Procedures

  • Definition of a responsibility tree and path to transplant with defined rules and competencies between services

  • Staggered approach in clinical activity starting from high curable diseases and easier procedure going to more intensive ones

  • Definition of a daily, weekly and monthly plan of clinical and scientific meetings for all the personnel

  • Coordinators: Andrea Biondi, Marta Canesi, Marta Verna, Maria Luisa Melzi, Valentino Conter


For a complex activity as hematopoietic stem cell transplant is essential to have a strong partnership with local authorities and a good connection with other hospitals in the country for a referral system of patients. Moreover different specialities are essential to make the path to transplant possible: laboratory, pharmacy, blood bank system must be included in the process.

In respect to clinical activity we intend to apply a staggered approach:

  • Pediatric allogeneic transplant from matched sibling donor in non oncological disease

  • Adult autologous transplant in multiple myeloma and malignant lymphomas

  • Pediatric and adult allogeneic transplant from matched sibling donor in oncological diseases

  • Pediatric and adult allogeneic transplant from mismatched family donor in oncological diseases

Clinical teaching and supervision is guaranteed mainly through training on the job and by remote assistance but also through dedicated training outside the country.

Project timelines

  • Exploratory missions: July 2022 and March 2023

  • Official start of the project: July 2023

  • July – December 2023: training in Italy of Iraqi staff on HSCT activity on adult and pediatric patients, apheresis and cell product handling

  • November 2023: intensive educational course in Mosul

  • November 2023: first allogeneic HSCT on one pediatric patient with thalassemia

  • January 2024: first autologous HSCT on one adult patient with multiple myeloma
  • February-ongoing: transplant activity with onsite and online supervision

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