Hurdle cleared: National Assembly panel gives green light to organ donation bill

Polio vaccine death, substandard health facilities discussed during meeting 


Asma Ghani January 23, 2017
PHOTO: APP

ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel has approved various amendments to the existing organ transplantation laws, which will allow willing donors to donate organs to save lives.

A meeting of the Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHSRC) on Monday considered five bills regarding organ transplantation including the transplantation of human organs and tissues, the transplantation of human organs and tissues and the draft of the human organs transplantation authority.



The committee considered the transplantation of human organs and tissues amendment bill that was moved by parliamentarian Kishwer Zehra.

The amendment, which aims to make it easier to transplant human organs or tissue in case of accidental deaths, was unanimously recommended for approval.

The law will curtail illegal practices as well as promoting a culture of organ donations to save lives, Committee Chairman Khalid Hussain Magsi reiterated.

The legislation proposes a separate column on identity cards for donors so healthcare staff can use the organs in case of accidents or natural deaths, he added.

Polio 

The committee also discussed the death of a child in Karachi, allegedly due to a tainted polio vaccine dose.

Magsi said it is not necessary that the death was caused by the vaccine and no assumptions should be made while discussing the issue as it would hamper vaccination efforts.

Health Secretary Muhammad Ayub Sheikh said the federal ministry health has been probing the matter and a report would be issued after a thorough inquiry is completed.

Sheikh said that millions of children get polio vaccine drops and this case seems to be an anomaly as the vaccine is safe and stored according to international standards.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 24th, 2017.

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