May Issue 2014

By | Health | Society | Published 10 years ago

Man has made a dent in the absoluteness of death,” announced Dr Adib Rizvi, Director Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), at the seminar held here on April 23. He was, of course, speaking about deceased organ donation and how the process enabled recipients, otherwise merely awaiting death, to begin life afresh and the deceased donors to live on through their beneficiaries.

In a country where 150,000 individuals die due to end stage organ failure every year, Rizvi and his team want to spread awareness of this concept as widely as possible. He lamented the apathy of Pakistanis (as opposed to Europeans) towards organ donation, attributing it to the dearth of healthcare facilities for 95 per cent of the population: since they were never looked after by their country, in life, they therefore did not care for others, in death.

The evening centred on the first screening of the Hum TV-produced docudrama, Zindagi, about Pakistan’s very first deceased organ donor — Naveed Anwar. After being declared brain dead following a road accident in 1998, the 24-year-old’s family decided to fulfil his wish and donated his kidneys and eyes. Speaking at the event, Anwar’s sister poignantly explained that after donating her brother’s organs — a task far more difficult than is apparent — her family felt comforted by his presence in the recipients of his organs.

Among the guests were senior journalists Zubeida Mustafa and Mujahid Barelvi, president and senior vice president of Hum TV, Sultana Siddiqui and Ather Viqar Azeem, and President All Pakistan Newspapers Society, Hameed Haroon, who, in turn, came up to the podium to pledge their allegiance to spreading this message through their respective mediums of communication.

The seminar drew to a close with a round of applause for those in the audience who had already pledged their organs, identified by the printed badges they wore.

This article was originally published in Newsline’s May 2014 issue.

Hiba Mahamadi was an Editorial Assistant at Newsline