BSMMU to do 5 more free liver transplants beginning in August

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-07-18 19:22:29 BdST


Inspired by its first-ever successful liver transplant, the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University or BSMMU will perform five more such sophisticated procedures free of cost.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Kanak Kanti Barua disclosed the plans while discharging the patient, 20-year-old Siratul Islam Shuvo along with his donor mother Rokshana Begum, in an emotionally charged ceremony on Thursday.

Shuvo expressed gratitude to doctors, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her mother for giving him a new lease of life.

"I am forever grateful to all for giving me a new life," he said, with tears rolling down his cheeks.

“We are expecting the next transplant in late August,” the vice-chancellor said. The university has allocated Tk 2.5 million for each transplant.

He thanked the prime minister for her support and said they would do whatever was necessary to make the liver transplant sustainable in the BSMMU.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque, who was also present, said he received the proposals from the BSMMU about what is needed to establish a fully fledged centre. "We'll provide necessary support. It's a milestone in our health sector. "

Hasina congratulated the doctors and patient in a message to the vice-chancellor.

Both the patient and the donor have recovered well, said Prof Md Zulfiqur Rahman Khan, chairman of the Hepatobiliary, Pancreatic and Liver Transplantation Surgery, who led the team of doctors.

They will have to come for a follow-up, he said.

The transplant was performed on June 24 with the help of Indian specialists. It was free of cost as part of the BSMMU's initiative to start a fully fledged liver transplantation in Bangladesh.

“We have started selecting patients for next five cases. Once perfectly matched, we’ll confirm them,” he said.

An Indian team led by liver transplant surgeon Dr P Balachandra Menon helped them in this exhaustive 18-hour surgery.

An adult can donate a portion of their liver to a child or another adult as liver is the only organ that can regenerate itself.

The BIRDEM Hospital was the first facility in Bangladesh that conducted liver transplantation in 2010. But they could not continue after a few years.

There is no official figure on how many people need liver transplant in Bangladesh. But Prif Kanak Barua had earlier said about 500 patients take liver transplant treatment from abroad every year.