Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today said that absence of liver transplant facility in Jammu and Kashmir (JK) is costing lives.
President DAK DrNisarul Hassan in a statement said it is painful to see salvageable liver failure patients dying due to lack of liver transplant facility.
“While the availability of liver transplantation has transformed the lives of patients with advanced liver disease, in Kashmir they simply die,” the DAK, President said.
He said that in 2013 a liver transplant unit was approved for SKIMS hospital, but since then nothing has been done to make this life-saving unit functional.
“Four year on, SKIMS has failed to operationalize liver transplant unit that was sanctioned to save lives. A yearly grant of Rupees one crore was sanctioned for placement of trained staff, but till date no infrastructure has been put in place and no staff was trained,” he alleged.
Ironically, the space that was designated for the transplant unit has been converted into chambers for consultants.
“Liver transplant involves replacement of patients’s diseased liver by a healthy liver derived from a brain-dead patient or from a living donor. Patients with liver failure and end stage liver disease are on rise in Kashmir and the only viable treatment for them is liver transplantation,” he added.
“There is epidemic of chronic hepatitis Band C infection in Kashmir which are the most common causes of end stage liver disease. According to a study, 38% population of two twin villages of Takia-Magam and Sonbaire of Kokernag were found to be infected with hepatitis C infection,” Dr Hassan alleged.
He said that Kashmir is the capital of fatty liver disease patients which is the leading cause of chronic liver disease.
“52 million Indians are having hepatitis B and C infection and nearly 6 lakh people die each year. Globally, 400 million people are infected with hepatitis B and C infection and about 1.4 million people die each year from hepatitis,” he added.