Increasing unmet demand for liver transplants in Gujarat – Bridging the gap

Highlights of the press conference:

· Introducing to Gujarat- the most experienced liver transplant surgeon and British Transplant Society (BTS) Life Time Achievement Award winner- Prof Darius Mirza. He has an experience of over 35 years and has performed over 6,000 liver transplants.

· Bringing to Ahmedabad a team offering comprehensive liver transplant care – adult and paediatric.

· Part of Apollo Group which has performed over 4,100 liver transplants and 500 paediatric liver transplants.

· Apollo Hospitals, Western Region has performed over 200 liver transplants.

Ahmedabad, February 13, 2023: Around 25,000 liver transplants are performed globally every year which includes around 9,000 in the US, 1,000 in the UK, 5,000 in China, 2,000 in India, and remaining by the rest of the world. India alone needs over 20,000 liver transplants every year whereas only 10% of them are performed currently. This is mostly due to the non-availability of strong liver care programmes and the shortage of deceased donors who are accessible to the public.

In a bid to bridge this gap, Apollo Hospitals, Ahmedabad, on Monday launched a comprehensive liver care programme with special emphasis on both adult and children’s liver care. An experienced team of healthcare experts has been roped in for the programme which includes Prof Darius Mirza, a stalwart with experience (having led the Birmingham team) in performing over 6,000 liver transplants across the globe. Prof Mirza (The Lead Liver Transplant Surgeon, western region, Apollo Group) will join Dr Chirag Desai (Liver Transplant Surgeon), Dr Pathik Parikh (Liver Transplant Physician), and a large experienced team of specialists to offer the best quality care in the management of liver diseases and transplant in Gujarat.

Prof Darius Mirza (The Lead Liver Transplant Surgeon, western region, Apollo Group) said, “Liver transplantation is an established procedure and must be offered to needy patients without the them having to travel outside the state. We aim to provide comprehensive liver transplant care for both adults and children. Paediatric liver transplant especially in very young children with low weight is very challenging. There is a significant emotional aspect involved too. These children are very fragile and need specialised setup and teamwork, which we are now equipped to offer with the best possible outcomes.”

Dr Chirag Desai said, “Apollo Group has always been a pioneer in the field of liver transplant since the first successful transplant in India in 1998. Apollo Hospitals, Ahmedabad, is also a pioneer in Gujarat and has to its credit the first living donor liver transplant, the first paediatric liver transplant, the first liver transplant without blood transfusion, and the first combined liver-kidney transplant in Gujarat. Apollo Hospitals, Ahmedabad, has given the best possible outcomes so far. With Professor Darius Mirza joining the team, we are now ready to start paediatric liver transplants, liver transplants for acute liver failure, and even liver transplants from ABO incompatible donors.”

Dr Pathik Parikh said, “Gujarat is a hub for Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) due to eating habits, genetics, and high incidence of diabetes. These have now become the leading causes of liver failure and liver transplant. Liver transplant for a patient with acute liver failure is still an unchartered territory in Gujarat and we intend to deliver it now here at Apollo Hospitals, Ahmedabad.”

Mr Neeraj Lal, COO, Apollo Hospitals, Ahmedabad, said “Prof Darius Mirza brings huge international experience which will benefit our patients. Our liver transplant team will offer quality care in liver disease management and transplantation. We are now ready for liver transplantation for adult and paediatric patients suffering from acute as well as chronic liver failure, from living and deceased donors including ABO incompatible donors. This will give many patients a second lease of life. The combined experience of the team will benefit many patients who are at the end-stage of liver failure. Notably, Apollo Hospitals Group, nationwide, has performed over 4,100 liver transplants and 500 paediatric liver transplants with excellent outcomes.”

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