the Kuwait Projects Company (Holding) – and its Group companies will hand over the Sheikha Salwa Sabah Al Ahmad Stem Cell and Umbilical Cord Center in mid-September 2017, with 70 per cent of the construction of the building now complete. The center, financed through a KD 7 million donation made to the Ministry of Health by Masharee Al Khair Charity Organization on behalf of KIPCO Group, is the Gulf region’s first-ever center to be dedicated to stem cell research and the storage of umbilical cords.

The Sheikha Salwa Sabah Al Ahmad Stem Cell and Umbilical Cord Center is being built over a 12,000 m. sq. plot of land in the Al Sabah Health Zone, opposite the Maternity Hospital. It has a total built up area of 7800 m. sq. and includes a three-floor main building, a utilities building, in addition to external landscaping and parking. The facility includes testing and research laboratories, blood and cord storage banks, research and medical libraries, as well as a lecture theater.

In addition to KD 7 million donation, the Advanced Technology Company, a member of the KIPCO Group, has pledged to provide state-of-the-art equipment for the center’s specialized laboratories, cooling systems and stem cell storage facilities. ATC’s contribution is valued at KD one million.

Mr Faisal Al Ayyar, KIPCO’s Vice Chairman (Executive) said:

“At KIPCO, we strongly believe that the private sector must play a pivotal role in supporting the government’s development plans, and that an integral part of this is the advancement of medicine and scientific research. The Sheikha Salwa Sabah Al Ahmad Stem Cell and Umbilical Cord Center, once handed over to the Ministry of Health, will make available resources that will have a direct impact on the quality of people’s lives thanks to the many medical breakthroughs that are being made in the field of stem cell research.”

Mr Abdulaziz Al Jassar, Board Member and Treasurer of Masharee Al Khair said:

“This donation, made by KIPCO Group through Masharee Al Khair, reflects our keen interest to enhance the quality of lives in the societies in which we operate. We place great hopes on this center, which we believe will play an important role in the field of medical research.”

KIPCO Group companies donate one per cent of their annual profits to Masharee Al Khair Charity Organization. The money is used to support charity projects and social causes.

Stem cells are unspecialized cells that have the potential to develop into different cell types with specialized function, such muscle cells, red blood cells or brain cells. As such, stem cells can be used to replace damaged cells that do not normally regenerate themselves. Stem cells come from three sources: adults, embryos and umbilical cords.