KARACHI: Six patients, including two children aged three and 13, with liver failure received a new lease of life when they underwent successful liver transplants carried out by a joint team of surgeons from Shiraz [Iran] and the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), officials said on Saturday.

A SIUT spokesperson said all the donors were close blood relatives of the recipients.

He said a team of Iranian surgeons from Ibne Sina Centre of Shiraz were currently visiting as part of a collaborative programme between the two medical institutions.

“So far, 15 living donor liver transplants have been carried out successfully with this initiative,” said the spokesperson.

Officials said transplants were part of a regular feature which was organised under the auspices of the Middle East Society of Organ Transplantation (MESOT) and aimed at sharing expertise and enhancing skills of professionals.

Shiraz Centre of Transplantation, they said, was one of the largest liver transplant centres in the region.

“Living donor liver transplant can fulfil the need of only a small portion of patients. An estimated 100,000 liver transplants are required every year. This can only be achieved through deceased organ donation where the patients dying in ICU on ventilators can donate kidneys and liver after family’s consent,” said the spokesperson.

The doctors at SIUT said deceased organ donation could save up to 200,000 patients of end-stage organ failure every year. “Unless people pledge their organ during their lifetime, we will not be able to save these patients.

“SIUT had earlier performed transplants from three deceased organ donors saving the lives of six patients of end-stage organ failure,” said an official.

He said the awareness of organ donation was spreading in the community and hopefully more lives could be saved by people pledging their organs.

Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2017