The Asian Society of Transplantation (AST) was formed in 1981 when the charter members met at the annual congress of Asian Society of Nephrology (ASN). According to the laid down constitution, the objectives of the Society were defined as:
- Promotion of exchange of information relating to transplantation.
- Development of medical, biological and social disciplines in transplantation in Asia.
- Cooperation in the training at all levels of professional involvement – nursing, transplant coordinator, pharmacists, physicians, surgeons and other disciplines involved in transplantation.
Organ transplantation in Asia has progressed rapidly over time. Many countries have moved beyond kidney transplantation and embarked on Heart, Liver and other organ transplantations. There have also been greater investments on infrastructure and personnel without which no progress could be made. The major challenge continues to be the lack of organs particularly from cadaveric donors. To implement the deceased donor programme, the basic requirements start from a law in the country, public awareness, infrastructure, trained personnel and the necessary funds. With the easy availability of living donors, especially for kidney transplantation, some of the Asian countries have become a prey to unethical practices. The Asian Society of Transplantation is a platform to provide assistance and help and plays an important role in the development of transplantation in the region. It serves as a forum for doctors and scientists involved in the field of transplantation to exchange views, present research findings and develop networks for mutual benefit through its biannual conferences. The AST also has future plans to help and assist its member countries to develop and make further progress in organ transplantation, progress in related research and form a network for organ exchange through a central registry.