Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

It is time to do away with myths. Hundreds of Pakistanis who have had kidney transplants are flocking to a playground during weekends to deliver a message to their countrypeople donate your organs to save lives. The event, first of its kind in the country, marked the start of a nation- wide campaign to remove the general misconception prevailing among the people that kidney donation was hazardous, said organisers.

Since 1985, about 3,000 people have received a new lease of life in Pakistan when organ transplantation was introduced in this country which is one of the world's largest Islamic nations. "We want to spread awareness that it is safe to donate," said Anwar Naqvi, the main sponsor of the campaign and professor in medicine at the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT). Naqvi said that the rate of transplants in the country was 87 per cent and no donor was reported to have faced any health hazard.

Transplant surgery is carried out in public as well as private hospitals in Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore at a cost of Rs 350,000 at private hospitals and at half of that at a public facility. Naqvi said that all the transplants that were done at the SIUT were conducted free of cost. In Pakistan, there is a strong opposition from the Islamic clergy against cadaveric transplants for which no law has yet been enacted.

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