ALMATY – A liver transplant between related patients, with a living donor, was performed in Almaty’s Municipal Hospital No. 7. This is not the first such transplant to take place in Kazakhstan, but the fact that it was performed in a local hospital rather than a leading national medical centre indicates that badly needed transplant surgeries are becoming more widely available in the country.
Municipal Hospital No.7’s doctors and nurses have received training in medical centres in South Korea, India, and Belarus.
Svetlana Kaipova, who received donated liver tissue from her daughter, thanked her daughter, Chief Physician Bulat Baymahanov, Head of the Hepatobiliary Surgery Department Mussa Sakhipov, the visiting Dr. Gupta from New Delhi Apollo Hospital, her surgeons, anaesthesiologists and nurses and the state for funding the costly operation. The 6-8 million tenge operation (about US$38-51,000) was paid for through the state programme Salamatty Kazakhstan (Healthy Kazakhstan).
Kaipova, who has five children, had been treated for cirrhosis of the liver in hospitals in Uzbekistan, Russia and Thailand over the past four years, but the health of the 55-year-old woman continued to decline, and it was determined that she needed a transplant.
Kaipova’s 25-year-old daughter, Gulshad, a mother of two, was her donor. The transplant was performed on Dec. 16, 2013; a month later, the doctors allowed journalists to visit the patients.
Head of the Municipal Health Department Zhannat Kassymzhanova wished Kaipova a speedy recovery and thanked her daughter for her courage.
At present, 1,000 people in Kazakhstan are awaiting liver transplants, 3,000 people kidney transplants and 1,146 people heart transplants. Until recently, transplant patients had to go abroad for such complex operations; now, however, the skills and technology necessary for such operations is spreading within Kazakhstan, though more education on organ donation is needed.
This year, another 20 liver and 70 kidney transplants are planned and 120 million tenge (US$773,345) allotted for them.