The cadaver and organ transplant programmes in western and central India will soon receive a major boost — setting up of the government-run Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (ROTTO) and the dismantling of the NGO-run Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee (ZTCC).
The ROTTO will be set up at Mumbai’s KEM Hospital, Parel. It will be functional in the next six months, said Dr Avinash Supe, dean, KEM Hospital. The ROTTO will coordinate and facilitate organ transplants between Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Union Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman, Diu, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, thereby creating a larger network of donors and recipients, increasing the chance for organ failure patients to find donors. The KEM Hospital centre has already received funding from the Centre.
At present, the job of maintaining a database of end-stage organ failure patients and coordinating with them about an organ availability is done solely by the state-based non-governmental organisation ZTCC, which was set up in 1996. In all of the western region, ZTCC only works in Maharashtra (Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune and Aurangabad) as other states in these region haven’t strongly picked up the organ transplant programme, said Dr Gustad Daver, a founding member and president of the ZTCC.
But in the next two years, once ROTTO stands on its feet, the ZTCC will be dissolved and the role of facilitating organ transplants within the states will be solely be with ROTTO. “The ZTCC will be dissolved as some members will become a part of the ROTTO team,” said Gauri Rathod, assistant director, Directorate of Health Services, who looks after the department of Human Organ Transplant.
The central idea behind setting up ROTTO is to create regional and state level registries of waitlisted organ failure patients. ROTTOs responsibility in the years ahead will be to penetrate the organ and cadaver donation programmes into states and regions where there is very little awareness about it. Doctors, surgeons and medical social workers will be trained to network with each other. Between April 17 to 21, the ROTTO at KEM Hospital will hold its first training programme, where officials from its parent body, National Organ and Tissue Transplant, will deliver a series of lectures, said Dr Sujata Pathwardhan, urologist at KEM Hospital, who has been appointed to set up the ROTTO.
Another important objective will be to encourage organ donations in municipal hospitals that have maximum numbers of brain deaths. “These hospitals have faired extremely poorly in the cadaver donation programme. They don’t have many medical social workers who can counsel the relatives of brain dead patients.” Rathod said.