Liver disease now curable in the Philippines


Good news for those who are afflicted with liver disease–you can now avail of cures here in the Philippines.

Dr. Enrique Ona, former Health secretary and now organ transplant surgeon at the National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI) says that liver disease can now be cured, thanks to the recent medical technologies and discoveries over the past few years.

Speaking before the NKTI symposium ” Rebirth After Liver Transplant and Pallative Care of Liver Diseases” at the Ona Auditorium in East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City, Ona says that at least three liver disease patients undergo liver transplant every year in our country. Most of the liver donors are brain dead patients or accident victims brought to the hospital dead.

Twenty nine patients of the NKTI benefit from liver transplants from deceased donors while 30 children afflicted with liver diseases are being assisted by the hospital who already had their transplants in India.

Dr. Siegfredo Paloyo, transplant surgeon of NKTI, only three liver recipients per year are being accommodated for transplant due to lack of liver donors. Steep medical expenses are also issues preventing transplants.

In the Philippines, a liver disease patient needs to have at least 3 million pesos to cope with the disease, which, in India, expenses only total half of this amount. Paloyo says expenses can be defrayed if there is assistance from the private and public sectors.

Dr. Joy Varghese, director of the Deparment of Hepatology and Transplant Hepatology of Glenagles Global Health City in India, prospective liver donors should be those from the patient’s family, healthy, and between the ages of 18 years old to 50 years old only.

As of late, survival rates of liver patients are 90% due to liver transplantation. Those who get the donated liver are advised not to eat sweet foods and high carbo diets.

Nesalie Soresca, founder of Liver Transplant Movement Philippines, called on rich countries and major donors to help more than sixty liver patients in NKTI who are waiting for their transplants. Only the NKTI, Medical City and St. Lukes Hospital are authorised and highly capable of liver transplant operations. (Reports from Agnes Barcelona)


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