More than three thousand citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) are on hemodialysis, and for a third of them, a kidney transplant is a hope for the continuation of a normal life. The state is not doing anything to help them, experts say, pointing out the importance of donations and the fact that we do have staff who can perform these procedures.
From the beginning of this year until today, only one kidney transplant has been performed in our country, at the University Clinical Center (UCC) in Tuzla. This is the first procedure of this kind since the beginning of the pandemic in BiH, and it is about donating a kidney from a living donor, and in this case, the wife donated her organ to her husband.
The Association of Dialysis and Transplant Patients of the Federation of BiH (FBiH) believes that the mentioned transplantation was performed under public pressure a month ago, considering that no new procedure has been performed since then.
“We have stopped with the transplantations again, and lately we have been receiving calls from our members, but also people who are not in the association, with questions about where they could get transplantation outside BiH, primarily kidneys. It is devastating that they no longer think about transplantation in BiH at all, but only abroad, whether it is Croatia, Turkey, or some other country, ” told Tomislav Zuljevic, president of the Association of Dialysis and Transplant Patients of FBiH.
All of the above, as Zuljevic said, shows how much patients have lost confidence in BiH as a state and its health system, emphasizing the devastating fact that only four transplantationswere performed at the Sarajevo University Clinical Center (KCUS) in five years, and this hospital used to be the region’s third transplant center, after the one in Ljubljana and Rijeka.
“We are doing everything we can to start transplants that we had two, three, or four years ago, and there were at least 15 or 20 of them a year, from living donors. Also, we must not forget the patients who are waiting for a heart or liver transplant, for which the state did not take care of at all. Practically, they are sentenced to death because heart transplantations are not performed in our country, while liver transplantations are very rare and are done with organs of patients who are brain dead,” Zuljevic said.
Dialysis and transplant patients also informed the European Parliament’s Department of Health about the current situation, but have not yet received a response.
“We have done everything we can to prevent the development of so-called transplant tourism in other countries, but in general, politics, especially health, does not hear us. We will see how long patients will bear all of this because it is sad that in situations where a brother gives a sister a kidney or a mother to a daughter, we have to collect money for the transplantation so that it can be done abroad, ” added Zuljevic.
Experts note that the progress of a country’s health system is assessed through the system of transplant medicine, which has not reached an enviable level in BiH. On the other hand, this type of medicine does not exist without the so-called donation, which means a person made a decision to donate organs in case of brain death, for the purpose of treating another patient, ie saving his life, Klix.ba writes.