'We have a dedicated unit now and we can do liver transplant surgery'
Two organs of Bangladesh Diabetic Samiti (BADAS) -- Birdem and Ibrahim Cardiac Hospital -- have jointly started liver transplant surgeries at a relatively low cost in the country.
On Thursday, in a press conference at Birdem hospital in Dhaka, doctors said liver transplant is now possible in Bangladesh at a lower cost than abroad while the country sees a large number of patients going abroad to have the surgery.
They said donors' awareness is also a big challenge for the purpose.
A 30-member medical team, led by Prof Dr Mohammad Ali, the pioneer of hepatobiliary pancreatic surgery, has already been formed in this regard.
When asked about the cost of a liver transplant, the doctors said that worldwide liver transplants are complex and expensive, but it will cost around Tk40 lakh in the country.
They said they had no dedicated team or unit, and had a lack of equipment when they conducted the first liver transplant operation in 2010 which cost around Tk45 lakh.
"The second one cost around Tk35 lakh. So we can say the patients need around Tk40 lakh for the surgery."
In response to a question, BADAS President Prof AK Azad Khan said: "We have a dedicated unit now and we can do such kind of liver transplant surgery depending on the physical condition of the donor and the receiver."
"We are also raising funds to reduce the cost," he added.
When asked, Dr Mohammad Ali said it takes six to eight weeks to recover after the operation, depending on the health condition of the donor and the receiver.
BADAS Secretary-General Dr Md Sayef Uddin, Director General of Birdem Hospital Prof Zafar Ahmed Latif, and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ibrahim Cardiac Hospital Prof MA Rashid, among others, were present at the press conference.