Shiraz: Organ Transplant Hub

Shiraz: Organ Transplant Hub
Shiraz: Organ Transplant Hub

Shiraz, the capital of Fars Province, has gained international reputation in organ transplantation. In the past two years, it has been recognized as the biggest liver transplant center in the world. More than 500 liver transplant surgeries were performed last year and 600 are likely to be carried out this year (started March 21).

On average, 300 kidney transplants and 60 pancreas surgeries are conducted in the province every year, said Ali Malekhosseini, a member of the Iranian High Transplant Council and head of Shiraz Medical University’s transplants department.

The first liver transplant was performed in 1993 in Shiraz University Hospital. The first living-related kidney transplantation performed at the hospital dates back to 1968.

Several medical students from Sudan, Tajikistan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria undergo training in specialized fields in the city’s hospitals, reports ISNA.

Malekhosseini pointed to organ procurement and transplantation in the country under the strict supervision of the Health Ministry. Organ transplants from living-unrelated organ donors were banned eight years ago to halt illegal activities in organ transplantation in the province.

He said donor organs should come from brain-dead people and not from living donors, especially from poor families, who are often lured by greedy middlemen into donating organs with promises of “large sums of money.”

A new 500-bed public hospital for organ transplants will be opened this year in the city and will be equipped with state-of-art technology. Low income families with insurance coverage will be provided free treatment.

Another state hospital at a cost of $437.5 million is also under construction in Shiraz. It will have 700 beds and is projected to become a leading cancer center in the country. Each fully-equipped bed will cost $625,000.