We thank Ms Eileen Cher for her views (Make cord blood donation an opt-out scheme, June 29).
We also thank her for donating her daughters' cord blood to help save lives and we are grateful for her strong support for the Singapore Cord Blood Bank (SCBB).
In Singapore, close to 40,000 babies were born last year in both public and private hospitals.
Of these, about 10 per cent of the mothers donated their babies' cord blood to help save lives.
Currently, there is no law governing cord blood donation.
It is strictly voluntary.
Unless the expectant mother has given consent to donate the cord blood or store it for the family, it is usually discarded as medical waste after childbirth.
Ms Cher's suggestion to make cord blood donation an opt-out scheme is food for thought.
If this can be applied to deliveries in the public hospitals, SCBB could potentially increase donated cord blood units annually in its public inventory.
Ms Cher made the donation as she understood the benefits of cord blood in saving lives, as well as how more can be done to encourage mothers to do so.
Obstetrician-gynaecologists are major influencers in educating mothers on the importance of cord blood banking.
SCBB will continue to raise awareness in hospitals so that more mothers will choose cord blood donation to meet the transplantation needs of Singapore.
Wong Loong Kin
Chief Executive Officer
Singapore Cord Blood Bank