World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA)
The World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) is a voluntary organisation of representatives of blood stem cell donor registries, cord blood banks, and other organisations and individuals with an interest in blood stem cell transplantation. It provides a forum for discussion of issues regarding the clinical use of blood stem cells from unrelated donors across international boundaries and for formulation of guidelines on logistics, quality control, ethics, finances, information technology and registry accreditation.
WMDA was initiated as a programme in 1988 by three pioneers in the field of transplantation: John Goldman (UK), E. Donnell Thomas (US) and Jon J. van Rood (NL). This led to the foundation of WMDA in 1994. Since then, WMDA has grown into a global association, representing 73 donor registries, 158 cord blood banks, 350 donor centres, and 1,615 transplant hospitals from 52 different countries.
WMDA fosters international collaboration to facilitate the exchange of high quality blood stem cells for clinical transplantation worldwide and to promote the interests of donors. WMDA works towards the goal that high-quality and secure blood stem cell products are available for all patients worldwide while maintaining the health and welfare of the blood stem cell donors.
Nearly 50% of all blood stem cell donations are transported from one country to another. In an attempt to ensure that blood stem cells from another country are safe and can be used for patients in need, WMDA has set up standards regarding the quality of international transplantations. Blood stem cell products from a WMDA qualified or accredited registry originate from a donor who is well-informed about the donation, and who has donated voluntarily. Also, these registries guarantee quality and traceability of their products.