KARACHI, Aug 5: The Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, which has performed 2,000 living kidney transplants since 1986, is now the largest centre in South Asia, providing free renal diseases related services to people of the province and the country, said its director Prof Adibul Hasan Rizvi on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press briefing at the SIUT, the noted Pakistani surgeon said his institute had a projected target of performing 396 transplants for 2008 and if things went as planned, it would become the biggest kidney transplant performing centre in the region.

According to the data given to newsmen at the briefing, the other centres performing the highest number of kidney transplants include those in Africa with 81 transplants, in Europe with 192, in the Middle East with 288, and in the US with 366.

The SIUT director said his institute performed 22 transplants in a year from 1987 to 1990, increasing up to 124 and 195 by 2003 and 2007, respectively. The number of transplants increased significantly after the enforcement of the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Ordinance 2007, he said, adding that the legislation on organ donation had helped promote living related kidney transplants and society was taking it as just and fair means of reducing the chances of exploitation of the poor.

He said the utility of the ordinance could be gauged from the fact that the SIUT had increased its transplants activities from three transplants a week to three transplants a day.

Before the introduction of the transplant legislation, some vested interest groups and professionals had been creating confusions that the ban on commercial or unethical non-related organ donations and transplantation would cause adverse impact on transplant activities and the people would have to suffer in the country, which rumours had been proved unfounded, Dr Rizvi said.

He said that since its inception, the SIUT, while discharging the obligations as an independent institution, had adhered to the policy of providing free dignified care and all necessary treatment modalities to all patients without any discrimination.

Replying to a question, Prof Rizvi said efforts were on to establish a branch of the SIUT in Sukkur, without compromising the right of the citizens to treatment and health care, and that he would love to see more kidney treatment facilities developed in the style of SIUT in other parts of the country.

“We are faced with a load of renal problem cases, but at the same time there is no dearth of related medical experts, supporting staff, volunteers and philanthropists and public support to overcome the situation,” he noted.

While focusing mostly on the transplant activities, the SIUT director said that the institute received pairs of living related donors and recipients from all provinces of the country. In the case of 2,030 transplants done at the SIUT from 1986 to 2008, 1,194 recipients and their donors were from Sindh, 127 from Balochsitan, 641 from Punjab, 57 from the NWFP and 11 from Azad Kashmir, Prof Rizvi said.

He further said that the SIUT was performing dialysis in the cases of 635 to 650 patients and undertaking 94 surgeries everyday, in addition to transplant activities.

The record of SIUT transplantation results for a year had shown 94 per cent survival rate of recipients, 85 per cent recipient rehabilitation, 95 per cent donor rehabilitation and no donation-related mortality, Prof Rizvi said.