Poor patients suffering from kidney failure can now go for a transplant to the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital in central Delhi. After the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), RML is the only government hospital that will offer this facility.
At present, of the 1.5 lakh new patients suffering from end-stage renal failure annually, only 3,500 get kidney transplants and 6,000 undergo dialysis. The rest perish, thanks to an acute shortage of affordable kidney transplant centres, dialysis centres and nephrologists.
National estimates say one in 10 Indians suffers from some degree of chronic kidney disease. In India, 5-7% of stage-V chronic kidney disease patients require life-long dialysis or a kidney transplant.
The RML performed its first transplant on May 10 this year, after which the centre has performed about 11 transplants. There is already a waiting time of six months, depending on the availability of a suitable donor.
"So far, we are only concentrating on live-related renal transplants. In due course of time, cadaveric renal transplantation will also be started. The demand is such that we are now planning to undertake at least one transplant a week," said Dr TS Sidhu, medical superintendent at RML.
"Our transplant team of nephrologists, transplant surgeons, technicians, resident doctors and nurses has undergone training at institutions like AIIMS and Ganga Ram Hospital in the past few years," he said.
The transplant team is headed by senior nephrologists Dr Sham Sunder and the surgeons include Dr AK Singh Rana, Dr Neeraj Saxena and Dr Nikhil Khattar.
Close to Rs 2 crore has been pumped in to make the state-of-the-art centre comprising two ICUs, post-transplant wards, equipment and for upgrading operation theatre at RML.