Majmua’a Khutbaat on organ donation launched
KARACHI: A book on social and religious aspects of organ donation titled Majmua’a Khutbaat was launched at the Karachi Press Club on Friday evening.
Journalist Ghazi Salahuddin, who moderated the event, said last year on April 18 a seminar on organ donation and transplantation was held at the Sheikh Zayed Islamic Centre, attended by religious scholars of all schools of thought.
The book is a compilation of lectures delivered at the seminar.
SIUT’s Dr Adib Rizvi first talked about his association with the Karachi Press Club. He said he had been coming to the club since he was a student. He said the journalist community had been very helpful to him in whichever cause he took up. He said they were supportive of him when he launched a campaign against those involved in organ trade. The club supported him when the Human Organ and Tissue Transplantation Act came up, and because of the media there was a considerable decrease in the selling and buying of organs.
Dr Rizvi said today between 200,000 and 250,000 people lost their lives because of lack of organ donors and the figure was likely to increase. He said hepatitis was rampant and liver transplantation was expensive. Mostly the young people died of the disease, he said.
He said when he started working on the issue, between 15,000 and 30,000 people suffered from it but now the number had increased manifold. He said working in cities like Lahore made him realise that cities were more affected by it than villages. He said 85 per cent of the country’s population lived below the poverty line and even the 15 per cent that was faring comparatively better found it difficult to undergo treatment related to kidneys, lungs and liver.
Dr Rizvi said organ transplantation was taking place in the rest of the world, including Jordon and Egypt, for the past 50 years. Iran, he said, was the biggest centre of liver transplantation.
He said when he first thought of the idea to be implemented in Pakistan the Ulema’s approval came as a challenge. The campaign that he launched, he said, had two objectives. The first was to motivate the people that organ donation was beneficial for more than one person. One death could give life to 17 people, he said. The second objective, he added, was to have the Ulema’s consensus on the subject, as a result of which the bill was passed with consensus from both houses (National Assembly and Senate).
Mufti Muneeb Ur Rehman, who was the chief guest on the occasion, began his speech by showering praise on Dr Rizvi. He said he was amazed to see that the distinguished doctor boarded a train on Wednesday evening to Sukkur, examined between 1,200 and 1,500 patients, and returned to Karachi on Thursday evening to perform his duty at the SIUT. And yet, he said, those who held the reins of government were so insensitive to Dr Rizvi that they could not even provide him with a helicopter.
Mr Rehman said he was part of the Council of Islamic Ideology when the Human Organ and Tissue Transplantation Act had been drafted. It took 10 years for its enactment, he said. Despite the system of zakat in place, he said, there was not a single person who would come to the government and give money for a noble cause. On the other hand, he said, people had such confidence in Dr Rizvi that they gave him generous donations because what people looked at was his work. Responding to an earlier speaker Fazil Jamili’s statement about Ulema giving a fatwa against terrorism, Mr Rehman said it had already been done in 2005. But, he complained, the media had other priorities, such as the rating game.
Mr Rehman said the aim of the book launch was to get everyone, including the media, extend a helping hand to Dr Rizvi and gather on one platform for humanity. He said Ulema too had given their consent, so now no one could blame them for being a hindrance in the way. It’s up to the media, he said, to convey this noble message to the nation.
Islamic scholar Noor Ahmed Shahtaz talked about the various stages after which the Act was passed. Fazil Jamili and A. H. Khanzada also spoke.
The News: Dr Rizvi decries illegal cadaver trade