Syria’s Health Ministry has agreed to form a committee responsible for organ transplants after legal and Sharia approval was given to perform transplant operations.
The move comes after university hospitals were contacted to form a medical committee responsible for organ transplants, following a forum held last April with the participation of the general mufti for the republic, Badreddin Hassoun, Bishop Nicholas Baalbek, and representatives from the Health Ministry and Interior Ministry. The conference resulted in a legal and Sharia fatwa (religious decree) to begin performing organ transplants on those pronounced brain dead.
Regarding liver transplants, which were performed in the Al Assad University Hospital in the second month of this year, hospital manager Dr. Jihad Abdeen told Al-Thawra that the hospital was in communication with a liver transplant recipient who is still in a comparatively acceptable condition after suffering complications following the operation. Abdeen added that this first operation was a scientific achievement on a country-wide level and was conducted with national experience and a team of doctors and administrators from the Al Assad University Hospital, despite the technical difficulty and complication of this type of surgery.
The cost of the operation was about 10 times lower than its cost outside the country, with the procedure lasting about 12 hours. The hospital benefited from the experience of experts from Iran, where two successful liver transplants have been completed. Errors have been rectified in the Iranian Shiraz center, which specializes in organ transplants, following the death of eight liver transplant patients.
Organ transplants in Syria began in 1979 with kidney transplants, making Syria a pioneer on a global level.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.