Doctors introducing kidney transplant from brain-dead donors in Bangladesh

Doctors in Bangladesh are set to introduce kidney transplant from the brain-dead with the help of South Korea.

Nurul Islam
Published : 4 Feb 2019, 04:33 PM
Updated : 4 Feb 2019, 04:33 PM

If successful, this cadaveric kidney transplant will raise new hopes among the patients who need kidneys but cannot find living donors.

The government last year amended the organ donation law allowing collection of organs from the brain-dead. But getting consent from the relatives remains a major challenge.

Dr ASM Tanim Anwar, who is coordinating the Bangladesh-Korea Kidney Transplantation team, told that the South Korean team will be coming to Dhaka next week.

“They will perform first cadaveric organ donor transplantation in Bangladesh if brain-dead donors could be found and consent from the family obtained,” he said.

“This is a major challenge. We have to raise awareness about this issue. There is no religious barrier contrary to what some people perceive.”

A registrar of nephrology at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Tanim Anwar had a fellowship on organ donor management and transplant from Korea University Anam Hospital.

He said the Korean specialised transplant team from Anam Hopital would be coming to give a select group of Bangladeshi doctors’ hands-on training on cadaveric transplantation.

The surgery can be done in any of the four hospitals – Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Birdem and Combined Military Hospital – based on the availability of the donor.

“Technology is not a problem for us since we are doing kidney transplantation for decades from the living donors. We need to know how to do it from a brain-dead person,” said the doctor.

Patients with kidney failure depend on dialysis for their kidneys to function. Transplantation is a preferred option for them for a longer and better life.

Bangladesh does not have statistics on the number of kidney patients and the demand for transplantation.

Estimates suggest around 20 million people are currently suffering from some form of kidney diseases.

The annual demand for the kidney transplantation is estimated to be 5000, but on average, only around 120 people can manage kidneys from their relatives to undergo a transplant.

President of the International Federation of Eye and Tissue Bank Mahmood Farazdaghi in 2012, during his Bangladesh visit, told there was no religious barrier to donation of organs posthumously.

Citing references of Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar University, the foremost institution in the Islamic world for the study of Sunni theology and Sharia, he had said, "When a person dies, doctors can decide what is useable for another human being and what is not."

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher