KARACHI - The national conference and workshops which began at Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) here on Friday to discuss means to promoting deceased organ donation to curb illegal transplant of organs, called for galvanising the role of society to achieve the desired goals.

The two-day conference cum workshop is being organised under the aegis of the Law and Justice Commission of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in collaboration with SIUT to discuss in depth the issue which holds great importance in the well-being and betterment of the society.

Representative from cross section of the society including legal and government, medical professionals, media and civil society, attended the opening session. This was the first occasion where all the stakeholders came together to work out a strategy and devise a plan which could saves thousands of lives of those patients who are losing their battle of life due to organ failures.

Director SIUT Prof Adib Rizvi, traced the history of transplant procedures in Pakistan. He also pointed out the impediments which are creating hurdles in promotion of deceased organ donation program. Lauding the efforts of Supreme Court of Pakistan for taking suo moto action, he said it is heartening that all the stake holders are on the same page.

Prof Rizvi, who performed the kidney transplant at SIUT in 1985 said “no lip service” will serve any purpose. He also reminded the stakeholders including community, media, doctors, and members of civil society and law enforcing departments that it is their duty to come forward and support the program and bring positive change in the society.

Dawn Group CEO Hameed Haroon lauded the efforts of SIUT in harnessing the transplantation program but added that “the battle is still going on” where we have to strengthen the rules passed by the legislature and implement them.

Investigative Journalist, Naziha Ali highlighted her experience in unearthing the illicit organ trade in Pakistan. Citing poverty as a root cause of illegal transplantation, she said, that the poor segment is vulnerable to fall prey.

Prominent lawyer Munir Malik, who discussed the legal side of curbing the illegal trade of organs and steps required for deceased organ transplant said there is no need to change the law. The rules can fulfill the needs without difficulty.

He stressed the need of commitment on the part of society. Others who spoke at the session included Maulana Shahtaz a religious scholar who said that all school of religious interpretations in Islam agree that saving a human life is most sacred and if one saves the life of one human being it is as if he has saved the entire humanity. Retired Justice Majida Rizvi also spoke on the occasion.

The highlight of the day long proceedings was poetry recited by famous poetess Zahra Nigha who dedicated poetry for those who are end stage organ failure patient and they need a new lease of life.