The Ministry of Health annually grants around 80 consent for umbilical cord blood banking. Montenegro, according to the Ministry, doesn’t have a biobank for cell and tissue preservation, but there’s a ‘Bio Save’ office in the capital, Podgorica, which obtained the approval of the Ministry of Health to be a mediator in the process of preservation and distribution of stem cells to the biobanks in the Euro zone or in some other countries.
“After the agreement is signed, the Ministry of Health gives the representative office consent to mediate in the import and export of stem cells, taking into account the conditions determined by the parties to the agreement as they have to be aligned with the legislation in this area.”
After a baby is born, umbilical cord blood is collected shortly after birth. The whole process is taking place in the Clinical Center of Montenegro, KCCG, or in a general hospital, i.e. the departments of gynecology and obstetrics.
“The process is carried out in accordance with the Law with the consent of the parents or a woman in confinement, and it [consent] is submitted to the ‘Bio Save’ office in Podgorica after which it’s forwarded to the Ministry of Health for further approval,” the Ministry said.
Chief Officer in the Department for Pharmacy, Biomedicine and Transplantation within the Ministry of Health, Senka Klikovac, emphasizes that the citizens already know a lot about umbilical cord blood banking, but in case they want to find out more, they can contact health workers.
“When it comes to possible violations, we haven’t received any objection, complaint or appeal so far,” Ms Klikovac said.
Cord blood stem cells are stored for around 20 years. “In this period, they can be used for treating diseases,” she explained.