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New ward complex at NCULTS to boost liver transplants
2012-02-18 08:38:42
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One of the pioneering medical establishments in liver transplantation in the country, the North Colombo University Liver Transplantation Service (NCULTS) received a new ward complex constructed at a cost of Rs.35 million which will be a boost to liver transplantation in Sri Lanka.

Prof. Janaka de Silva, the head of the medical team at the facility addressing the opening ceremony said Sri Lanka was now classified as a middle income country and medical science should now move forward beyond its great public health achievements.

“We are determined to make Ragama a centre of excellence for liver diseases for the benefit of all Sri Lankans. The idea that we should start a liver transplantation programme in Ragama was discussed in 1998 between me and Prof. Kemal Deen on a plane en-route to the UK for the 60th Anniversary meeting of the British Society of Gastroenterology. Kemal and I were wearing the ties we got at that meeting to remember that occasion. I had just been appointed Dean of the Faculty and Kemal was Head of Surgery. We were discussing ways in which to develop Ragama as a centre of excellence in the country," Prof. de Silva said.

There are more than 50 patients on the waiting list for liver transplantation. Many are dying for want of timely intervention. More equipment and infrastructure in the way of operating theatres and medical, ethical and administrative mechanisms are required to optimise organ donation, both cadaveric, living-donor and awareness programmes for healthcare personnel and the public. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)    

Comments - 2
sam silva Saturday, 18 February 2012 08:48
Liver transplantation cost money.

Transplantation is simple surgery where new blood supply is established for the organ which is donated to a patient from a suitable donor. This only requires a reasonable theatre with blood transfusion support and some special equipment. This process can be carried out by most surgeons.

The expenditure is mainly due to medication used to prevent rejection of the organ due to the body of the patient recognising the donor organ as foreign.

Liver problems can be due to many reasons. Most common causes are alcohol abuse and viral infection.

Should we offer liver transplantation to a person who has liver failure due to alcohol abuse? What are the chances of them consuming alcohol again? This money comes from the tax we pay as high fuel price.

Who is monitoring the quality of skills of these doctors who are using the procedure?. What are there success rates in the past?
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AF Sunday, 19 February 2012 04:33
I certainly agree with the certain comments made by sam. It is good to have a transplantation unit
However these involve hours of surgery (theatre time /man power/medication/operational cost) and post operative care. Not just the cost of setting up the unit. There are so many patients in the waiting lists for months or years to get their surgeries done to end their suffering. So It is important to take all these factors in to consideration in a country like ours where the health care is free and struggling to cope with the demand.
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