A surgical team from Korea, due in Dhaka Sunday, will conduct the first ever transplant from brain-dead
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 in Dhaka on 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 5,000 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 transplant in the country if a donor can be found and with the consent from family,” Dr ASM Tanim Anwar, who is coordinating the Bangladesh-Korea Kidney Transplantation team, told BSS.
Terming the initiative as a major landmark of the country’s kidney treatment, he said: “The annual demand for the kidney transplant in Bangladesh right now is estimated to be 5,000. But on average, annually, only around 120 people can manage kidneys from their relatives to undergo a transplant.
“Kidney transplant from living donors is not a new thing for us as we have been doing it since 1982. Now, we are prepared to do it from brain-dead person, something that has already started even in neighboring India and Sri Lanka,” 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 specialized team from the hospital will impart a hands-on training on cadaveric transplant to a group of Bangladeshi doctors during their visit here.
Emphasizing on creating awareness, he said: “People of our country hesitate to donate organs because of their emotion, values and citing religious reasons.”
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 beings.”
“A man, however, cannot sell his organs according to Islamic principles but he can donate. This is because human organs are highly precious in the eyes of Islam and 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.
President of the Society of Organ Transplant Bangladesh Prof Dr Harun Ur Rashid stressed about mass awareness to popularize the transplant of kidney from the 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. One can also donate his organs like a kidney while still alive, said Dr Harun, also the founder president of Bangladesh Kidney Foundation.