Main problem is finding people willing to donate kidney, say doctors
A media seminar was conducted for world kidney day by the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine.
The organisers introduced a novel idea with regards to kidney transplant at the seminar.
Accordingly, a Donor’s Card would be issued with prior consent of the donor, so that in the event of death by accident, the organ could be extracted immediately without delay.
“International Kidney Day was introduced on March 10 2006, and this year for world kidney day the ministry of health is introducing a system where those who wish to donate their kidneys will receive an authorized Donor Card,” Dr. P.G Mahipala, Director General of Health Services said,
“We believe the greatest merit we could achieve is to give life to another after one’s own death. Therefore, our goal is to popularize the Donor Card.
“Further, we have 250 machines throughout the country for dialysis, and we plan to increase the number of machines to 364 this year. We also wish to purchase over 500 machines this year that would facilitate kidney transplant. This year’s budget has also allocated over Rs.6 million for kidney diseases and transplantation.
“It should be also noted that diabetes is a contributor to kidney disease, and the rate of incidence of diabetes is increasing daily. Our sugar intake is too high. We are thus planning to introduce a traffic light system, where foods with too much sugar will have a red label. Through food and awareness we can prevent this disease,” he said.
"The number of donors was dwindling, Dr. P.M. Rathnayake, the Deputy Director of the National Institute for Nephrology Dialysis and Transplantation said speaking at the event"
The number of donors was dwindling, Dr. P.M. Rathnayake, the Deputy Director of the National Institute for Nephrology Dialysis and Transplantation said speaking at the event.
“It is extremely difficult to get one free. This is why it is essential to have cadaveric transplant (An organ or tissue donor who has already died e.g.- in a vehicle accident).”
Dr. P.G Mahipala, expanded on the idea of cadaveric transplantation,
“Over two million people worldwide suffer from renal failure and kidney disease and 5,000 of those sufferers belong to Sri Lanka. However only 10 percent receive of kidney patients receive kidneys for transplantation.
“We have seven main hospitals, where kidney transplantation is conducted:
“Castle Street Hospital for Women, the National Hospital, the General Hospitals of Karapitiya, Peradeniya, Anuradhapura, Polonaruwa and Kandy.
“Our main problem is finding people who are willing to donate their kidneys. Therefore, we wish to solve this predicament with the introduction of cadaveric donations .
“We have already begun such procedures at the ‘Kandy General Hospital’ and are preparing to conduct this at Castle as well.” Dr. Vinodani Wanigasekara, a Consultant Anaesthetist, elaborated on the topic of brain death and organ extraction. “Once a person is confirmed to be brain dead, he is proclaimed to be legally dead. After a brain death is declared, organ donation becomes a possibility Brain death is permanent. It is irreversible. One person could donate organs and tissues that could help many people,” she said.
There was a lack of suitable live donors, Dr. Sandya Seneviratne, a Consultant Nephrologist said. “Live donors face long term consequences, when they have to survive with one kidney. Further, the expense of donor work ups and donor follow ups are lifelong. This causes quite a hassle to the donor.
“Cadaveric kidney transplant eliminates all these problems. In fact this would also end organ trafficking and the exploitation of live donors because of the availability of kidneys,” she said.
She also said that a Donor Card did not require the written approval of a relative for the kidney to be offered for transplant and that if a relative opposed, the kidney would not be taken for transplant.
“At the moment consent forms could be obtained and handed over to the Kidney (Nephrology) Unit National Hospital.
But we hope that in the future, these forms could be obtained from Grama Niladhari offices. The Donor Cards would be sent by post,” she said.
pics by kithsiri de mel