India has poor organ donation record

Gujarat Global News Network, Ahmedabad

Though India performs second largest number of transplants in the world , its record of organ donation is very poor. “India performs the second largest number of transplants in the world, next only to USA as per data available on the Global Observatory on Donation and Transplantation” said Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare said.

Despite the achievement of being second to USA in the number of transplants, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that a huge gap still exists between those requiring transplants and the actual number of organs available for transplant from deceased donors. “India has a dismal 0.65 per million population (PMP) Organ Donation Rate and we need to improve this”.He was speaking at a function to mark Organ Donation Day.

We need to create and enhance awareness about organ donation on a monumental scale, such that it becomes a Jan Andolan and people voluntarily pledge to donate their organs, he stated. He added that public representatives and public functionaries need to become torchbearers and ambassadors of this movement to not only spread awareness, but also dispel myths and apprehensions in the communities regarding organ donation.

Dr Harsh Vardhan urged NGOs, CSOs, non-state stakeholders, community and religious leaders and opinion influencers within communities to become ambassadors of organ donation and enthuse and inspire people regarding this noble act. “Let Medical Colleges take a lead in this movement. Let us have national and regional events where we create massive awareness drives for organ donation”, he stated. He added that we need to institutionalise our best practices to create credibility in the system to inspire confidence in the people. Also, there is a need for simplification of processes for transparent harvesting and transplantation of organs, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated.

Government of India has set up the National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) as a mandate of the Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act 2011, for carrying out the activities for promotion of organ donation from deceased persons, putting systems in place for organ donation and transplantation and training the needed manpower etc.

NOTTO is performing the functions of the National Human Organs & Tissues Removal and Storage Network as specified by the Act. Networking among hospitals and tissue banks is set up through NOTTO at national level / ROTTO at regional level / SOTTO at State level for procurement and sharing of organs obtained from the deceased donors and allocation of procured organs is done by the SOTTOs, ROTTOs & NOTTO. The networking of the transplant and / or retrieval hospitals has been done to ensure that any organ which is donated does not get wasted

 (For news in Hindi see our Hindi daily Chaupal Chronicle)

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