The National Conference and workshops for Deceased Organ Donation began at SIUT (Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation) on 20th – 21stApril 2018. The nature of the conference aimed to discuss means to promoting deceased organ donation to curb illegal transplant of organs, called for galvanizing the role of society to achieve the desired goals.
The two-day conference and workshop were organized under the aegis of the Law and Justice Commission of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in collaboration with SIUT to discuss in depth the issue of illegal organ trade and awareness of deceased organ donation among the population.
The representatives from a cross-section of the society including legal and government, medical professionals, media and civil society, attended the opening session. This was the first occasion where all the stakeholders came together to work out a strategy which could save lives of those patients that suffer organ failure. In his inaugural address, Professor Adib Rizvi Director of SIUT traced the history of transplant procedures in Pakistan. He also pointed out the disablements which are creating obstacles in the way of awareness of deceased organ donation program.
Applauding the efforts of Supreme Court of Pakistan for taking suo-moto action, he said it is heartening that all the stakeholders are on the same page. He also reminded the stakeholders including community, media, doctors, and members of civil society and law enforcing departments that it is their duty to join hands in the awareness program and contribute to the society.
Famous poetess Ms. Zahra Nigah who dedicated poetry for those who are end-stage organ failure patient and they need a new lease on life. Ms. Naziha Ali, an investigative journalist highlighted her involvement in extracting the verboten organ trade in Pakistan. She has mentioned poverty as a root cause of illegal transplantation. Advocate Mr. Munir Malik, who discussed the legal side of curbing the illegal trade of organs and steps required for a deceased organ transplant to be popular. He stressed the need for commitment on the part of society.
Prominent personalities who attended the conference included Maulana Shahtaz, Hameed Haroon, Athar Inam, Saeed Akhtar, Additional Attorney General of Pakistan, members of HOTA (Human Organ Transplant Authority) and Retired Justice Majida Rizvi.
During the day-long proceedings, various workshops were also held to formulate recommendations on the variety of related subjects including the public education, reaching the people, use of media and legal and government implementation.