Senate body okays organ transplantation bill

Published November 25, 2021 - Updated November 25, 2021 11:06am
Human Organs Transplant Authority representative says there were 20 registered institutions which were doing organ transplants but public sector institutions were hardly doing them. — AFP/File
Human Organs Transplant Authority representative says there were 20 registered institutions which were doing organ transplants but public sector institutions were hardly doing them. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services (NHS) on Wednesday unanimously approved ‘The Transplantation of the Human Organs and Tissues (Amendment) Bill 2021’.

According to the amendment, at the time of registration for Computerised National Identity Cards (CNIC) the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) will ask people that whether they want to donate their organs.

If they reply in affirmative a red mark will be added to their CNICs.

The bill was tabled by Balochistan Awami Party Senator Sana Jamali and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Senator Seemee Ezdi as a private member’s bill on Sept 27 in the upper house which was referred to the Senate standing committee.

The committee chairman, Mohammad Hamayun Mohmand, while discussing the bill, said there was not a single body to register donors and receivers of human organs. He said though it was a positive practice to donate organ, its misuse should be stopped.

A representative of Human Organs Transplant Authority (HOTA) said there were 20 registered institutions, across the country, which were doing organ transplant, but public sector institutions were hardly doing transplants.

Members of the committee unanimously approved the bill and referred it to upper house for voting.

Mover of the bill Senator Sana Jamali, while talking to Dawn, said that bill suggests that at the time of issuance of CNIC the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) will ask people that if they want to donate their organs.

“The red mark on the CNIC is aimed at keeping people and authorities informed that the CNIC holder has committed to donated organs.

“Those who will die in the hospitals, their organs can be removed from there or relevant authorities can be intimated,” she said.

While replying to a question, Ms Jamali said that people will have a choice to include or remove donated organs from Nadra’s list.

She expressed the hope that, because of its importance, the bill would easily sail through the parliament.

Pakistani smokers who wanted to quit cigarettes remained unsuccessful.

As many as 86pc of Pakistani smokers who wanted to quit cigarettes were unsuccessful despite repeated attempts, reveals an opinion survey conducted in major cities across the country. 95pc of these Pakistanis, however, told that switching to alternatives allowed them to quit the harmful habit of smoking.

At a ceremony held in Islamabad, sharing details of the survey with media, Mirza M. Abeer, founder and CEO of Association for Smoking Alternatives Pakistan (ASAP), believes the best option is for smokers to quit, but the majority of smokers who cannot quit should at least move to safer alternatives such as e-cigarettes or heated tobacco products.

The survey was commissioned by the ASAP with over 600 smokers and users of alternatives to help understand consumer perceptions about cigarette alternatives in the country. The research was a component of anti-smoking campaign launched in early November to get 1 million Pakistanis to quit cigarettes.

“This would help a lot in reducing the number of smokers in the country,” he remarked

The survey asked the participants about the reasons for quitting smoking and all of them said that better health is one of the primary reasons for switching away from cigarettes, and 98 per cent of the participants believed their health has improved as a result of switching.

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2021

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