Status of Organ Donation and Transplantation in Bangladesh

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IntroductionBangladesh has a population of around 1.6 million and out of them about 20 million are suffering from kidney diseases and another half a million are suffering from corneal diseases. Although the need for organ transplantation to cure many is growing with time, the culture of organ donation is not well established in the country. The current study aims to explore the situation of organ donation and transplantation in Bangladesh and at the same time identify factors that hinder progress of organ donation in the country.MethodsRelevant documents from different government and non-government hospitals, Kidney and liver foundation of Bangladesh, national eye donation society, CHOKH, an NGO were reviewed. Further, the organ transplant law-1999 and other newspaper articles were also reviewed.ResultsBangladesh does not have any study to estimate the actual prevalence of kidney disease and the need for organ grafting. But some approximate estimates suggest at least 20 million people are suffering from kidney diseases in Bangladesh and 35,000 of them die of kidney failure every year. The annual demand for the kidney transplant is estimated to be 5,000. However, on average only around 100 people can manage kidneys from their relatives to undergo a transplant. Bangladesh Organ Donation Law 1999 allows posthumous or brain-death kidney donation apart from living close relatives, but steps have never been taken to introduce such donation. Among the relatives, only brothers, sisters, father, mother, maternal and paternal uncles and aunts can donate kidneys under the 1999 law. Since 1982 around 1400 kidneys, 5500 corneas and 4 liver transplantation have taken place in Bangladesh. Cornea transplantation, on the other hand, has reached a satisfactory level where transplantation has increased 3 times since 2009.ConclusionBangladesh has experienced a remarkable improvement in terms of cornea transplantation and record system. But transplantation of other two organs is still rare. Programs related to awareness building on organ donation, working with religious leaders to promote donation, enforcement of law against illegal organ trafficking, improving coordination among organ institutes, support from the major stakeholders including the government can help to develop the organ donation in the country. Further, improvements are warranted in areas of manpower training, subsidizing transplantation cost for the needy, establishing a central organ registration system.Bangladesh Kidney foundation. BSMMU, Dhaka. Sandhani National Eye Donation Socity. Bangladesh Liver Foundation. Islamia Eye Hospital, Dhaka. BIRDEM, Dhaka. National Institute of Kidney Diseases and Urology, Dhaka.

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