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imageKARACHI: Abdul Sattar Edhi, the legendary figure of the country known for his service to the humanitarian cause, is in need of a kidney donation, consequent to have been diagnosed with renal failure.

Talking to media personnel at Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) on Tuesday, Edhi urged the masses to strengthen the cadaveric organ donation culture in the country.

Prof. Adib-ul-Hasan Rizvi, the head of doctors' team looking after Edhi said there was no urgency, however, his distinguished patient would at one point of time or other will need kidney transplantation.

"Presently he is undergoing dialysis once weekly or fortnightly in accordance with his need," said the pioneer of organ transplantation in the country.

In reply to a question, surgeon Rizvi said the cadaveric organ donation law that was adopted, almost unanimously, by the past parliament and already endorsed by different schools of religious thoughts is needed to be comprehended and promoted by our society in general.

Edhi, alongwith his son Faisal Edhi and various senior doctors of SIUT told journalists that he was fully conscious of his health status and is indebted to his doctors who have helped him to continue with his routine life.

"But I would need to undergo transplantation is a fact," he said and urged masses to realise that cadaveric (posthumous) organ donation can help many of the people suffering from organ failure.

Prof. Adib-ul-Hasan Rizvi in reply to another question said family members of Edhi were more than willing to donate their kidney, however, since there is no emergency situation and therefore his team could wait for cadaveric donation.

He said patients declared brain dead could be the potential cadaveric donors and each of them can save no less than 70 lives.

"As per conservative estimates 35,000 people in our cities only are dying of renal failure in want of one or the other organ donation," said the transplant surgeon.

The need of rural population is not known, said Prof. Rizvi mentioning that kidney transplantation has been performed very successfully at SIUT since 1985.

"Although majority comprised living donors, mainly close relatives, however, a few families also complied with the will of their deceased relatives including a son and daughter - donating their organs to people in need at SIUT," he elaborated while responding to queries raised by journalists.

Dr Rizvi said SIUT has also successfully conducted liver transplants while there exist adequate expertise to perform transplant surgeries for other organs too.

About services offered to patients visiting SIUT, he said our motto is "service with dignity" and that patients are provided all medical services without any cost.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2013

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