HLA Lab Inauguration
On 3rd June 2011, the Right Honourable President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav inaugurated a modern Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) lab established by Aarogya foundation at the cost of 2 crore rupees which is a milestone in the history of transplantation in Nepal. Until now samples had to be sent to India and the report usually takes two weeks which is also expensive (Rs 55000). With such modern lab established in Nepal, the patients will be able to get the accurate result the very next day at a cheaper price.
HLA molecules are encoded by the Major Histocompatibility Complex – cluster of genes on short arm of chromosome 6. Clinically significant HLAs are A B (Class I) and DR (Class II) in transplantation. Matching HLAs between donor and recipient will determine the success of transplantation.
This lab will facilitate the present live donor transplant programme and more importantly will help to initiate ‘deceased donor’ transplantation in the country. Deceased donor transplantation will be enormously useful to overcome the problem of organ shortage and to do the transplantation for those who do not have ‘close relatives’ to donate the organs for them. Existing law in the country permits transplantation between ‘close relatives’ only in the live donor programme.
The HLA lab facility will also be useful in other medical fields such as orthopaedics, rheumatology, haematology, oncology and paediatrics such as HLA B27 in diagnosing Ankylosing spondylitis. This will not only comfort the Nepali patients and the medical team but also retain millions of rupees in the country.
Aarogya Foundation is a non profit social-welfare organisation established in 2010 to help needy citizens of the county in the field of organ failure and transplantation. Against the backdrop of Nepalse citizens going abroad for transplant operations for various ailments and the lack of public and political debate on addressing subject matters related to transplant, Aarogya foundation has been in the forefront of the awareness campaigns in collaboration and partnership with other institutions in the country such as Bir hospital, NAMS, since its establishment.