The country’s health sector is waiting for making a historic landmark as Bangladesh is set to begin kidney transplant from the brain-dead to partially mitigate huge demand of kidney transplant aspirant patients.
The move came as the government last year amended the organ donation law allowing collection of organs from the brain-dead with the consent from the relatives which is still a major challenge.
A surgical team from Korea is scheduled to arrive tomorrow (Sunday) to conduct the first ever kidney transplant from the brain-dead jointly with a group of local physicians that will give some kind of relief to estimated 5000 patients who are waiting to transplant their kidneys.
“The South Korean team will be here on February 10 …… They will conduct the first cadaveric organ donor transplantation in the country if brain-dead donor could be found and the family members permit,” Dr ASM Tanim Anwar, who is coordinating the Bangladesh-Korea Kidney Transplantation team, said.
Terming the initiative as a major landmark of the country’s Kidney treatment, he said “the annual demand for the kidney transplantation in Bangladesh right now is estimated to be 5000, but on average annually, only around 120 people can manage kidneys from their relatives to undergo a transplant”.
“Kidney transplantation from living donor is not a new thing for us since we are doing it from 1982. Now, we got prepared to do it from brain-dead person that had already been started even in our neighbouring India and Sri Lanka apart from other developed countries,” he said.
Dr Anwar, Nephrologist of Dhaka Medical College Hospital who had a fellowship on organ donor management and transplant from Korea University Anam Hospital said, the Korean specialised team from the Hospital will impart a hands-on training on cadaveric transplantation to a group of Bangladeshi doctors during their visit here.
Emphasising on creating awareness, he said, “People of our country hesitate to donate organs because of their emotion, values and religious prejudice, which appear as bigger challenges for the organ donation in Bangladesh.”
In this regard, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), however, endorsed the campaign as the basic principles of Islam always upheld humanitarian causes.
Islamic scholar Maulana Abdullah Al-Maruf in this regard, referred to the decision of the OIC’s Islamic Council which ruled that one can donate his or her organs before or after death “for the welfare of human being”.
“A man, however, cannot sale his organs according to Islamic principles but he can donate . . . this is because human organs are highly precious in the eyes of Islam and they cannot be regarded as commercially tradable objects,” he said.
The surgery can be done in any of the five hospitals – Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Bangladesh kidney foundation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation for Diabetes (BIRDEM) and Combined Military Hospital (CMH) – depending on the availability of donor, BSS reported.
President of the Society of Organ Transplant Bangladesh Prof Dr Harun-Ur-Rashid and key person behind the kidney Transplant initiative stressed generation of mass awareness to popularise the transplant of kidney from brain dead and negate taboos regarding posthumous donation of organs. Patients with kidney failure depend on dialysis for their kidneys to function while Transplantation is a preferred option for them for a longer and better life.
There are two main types of organ donation – living-donor donation and deceased or cadaveric donation when organs are removed surgically from donors shortly after their death or during brain death and in the other case one can donate his organ like a kidney while he will be still alive, said Rashid, also the founder President of Kidney Foundation Bangladesh said.
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