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PESHAWAR: The experts on Thursday asked both doctors and people to promote the lawful transplantation of human organs to save lives.

“Pakistan has been notorious for illegal organ transplants and therefore, we need to promote legal practices and thus, ensuring better quality of lives,” Medical Transplant Regulatory Authority administrator Prof Asif Malik told a transplant day event at the Khyber Medical University here on Thursday.

The MTRA administrator said the authority had recognised the Institute of Kidney Diseases, Rehman Medical Complex and North West General Hospital for renal transplants and would approve more hospitals to facilitate the people with damaged kidneys.

Experts ask people to visit recognised transplant centres to stay safe

He said there were several committees to evaluate health centres prior to their recognition and ensure that patients and donors prevent complications.

Prof Asif said the law passed in 2014 ensured end to the exploitation of the poor people, who sell their kidneys at throwaway prices.

He said the people should contact the authorised surgeons and centres for transplantation to stay in good physical shape.

The MTRA administrator said the people should contact the authorised surgeons and centres for transplantation to enjoy life.

Dean of the Khyber Medical College Prof Noorul Iman said the new law should also be allowed to regulate infertility and reproductive clinics and hospital to ensure the people’s safety.

“We should protect the safety of donors and recipients besides taking steps for the transplantation of organs apart from kidney and cornea,” he said.

KMU vice-chancellor Prof Arshad Javed hinted at launching the postgraduate transplant courses to prepare good professionals through research and skill development programmes.

He said there should be information in the curriculum of medical colleges about organ transplant and donation so that the people could get facilities inside the province.

MTRA deputy administrator Dr Fazal Majeed said the authority was in the process of recognising hospitals for organ transplantation at the regional level and that it was also helping health centres upgrade their infrastructure to begin such procedures.

“We have recognised the Khyber Teaching Hospital, Lady Reading Hospital, Hayatabad Medical Complex, RMI and Kuwait Teaching Hospital for corneal transplants, which are benefitting the people blinded by diseases or trauma,” he said.

Health Care Commission chief executive Azer Sardar said despite having limited resources, the commission was trying to close illegal clinics and ensure provision of quality health facilities to the people.

“We need more staff to be able to extend our services to the entire province,” he said.

Director at the FIA, KP, Mirwaiz Niaz said the provincial law-enforcement agencies should be strengthened to deal with illegal medical practices.

“We seal clinics, which are re-opened within two days. Penalties should be stricter to deter those involved in malpractices,” he said.

The director said public awareness was more significant as some operation theatres for transplants were set up in houses. He said a law should be made to enable everyone to donate organs.

IKD director Prof Nasir Aurakzai said his institute had been transplanting organs free of charge and that the results of such procedures were highly satisfactory.

“The people should undergo transplants in the centres recognised by the MTRA to stay safe,” he said.

Religious scholar Zakir Naumani said Islam allowed transplantation if the people followed the prevalent law for it.

He said every religion wanted to ensure the provision of better health services to the people.

KP health minister Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan, who was chief guest on the occasion, said the people should know the advantages of organ transplants so that they could start donating organs to give new lease of life to the terminally-ill people.

“Donating organs is tantamount to giving new life to someone. The government will make every effort to promote legal transplants in the province,” he said.

The minister said the top agenda of the PTI government was to give the people quality health services.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2019