Srinagar: On world hepatitis day, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Thursday demanded setting up of a liver transplant facility in Kashmir.
“That would save lives,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
Dr Hassan said patients with liver failure and end stage liver disease are on the rise in the valley and the only viable option for them is liver transplantation.
“There is epidemic of chronic hepatitis B and C infection in Kashmir which are the most common causes of end stage liver disease,” he said adding “Kashmir is the capital of fatty liver disease patients which is the leading cause of chronic liver disease.”
The DAK President said while the availability of liver transplantation has transformed the lives of patients with advanced liver disease, but in Kashmir they continue to be in despair and seem to have no hope of survival.
“It is painful to see salvageable liver failure patients dying due to lack of liver transplant facility,” he added.
Dr Nisar said in 2013 a liver transplant unit was approved for SKIMS hospital, but since then nothing has been done to make this life-saving unit functional.
“A yearly grant of Rupees one crore was sanctioned for placement of trained staff, but till date no infrastructure has been put in place and no staff was trained,” he said,
General Secretary DAK Dr Arshad Ali said despite legal and religious support for organ donation, except for some cosmetic measures, no serious efforts were made to generate awareness among people to encourage them for organ donation which is central to liver transplantation.
“Liver transplant involves replacement of patient’s diseased liver by a healthy liver derived from a brain-dead patient or from a living donor,” he said.