With 22 cadaver donations recorded in the first five months this year, Pune is spearheading the state’s cadaver donation programme.
According to state officials, Pune’s Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee’s (ZTCC) efforts to raise awareness about cadaver donation has contributed to the rise in numbers. The ZTCC is a quasi-government body that maintains a register of recipients and facilitates the donations. There are four ZTCCs in Maharashtra — Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad and Nagpur.
Mumbai recorded 18 cadaver donations this year, however, three of them were deemed unfit for organ donations. Meanwhile, Aurangabad and Nagpur have recorded three and four donations this year, respectively.
Arati Gokhale, central coordinator of Pune’s ZTCC, said that in the past two years, the body had worked extensively, both in public and private hospitals.
“When we visited hospitals to sensitise people about cadaver donations, we found that most people did not have any clue about it. Many transplant coordinators said that they had trouble when they talked to relatives of brain dead patients about organ donation. They said most had trouble accepting the idea,” she said.
Gokhale added, “We started conducting regular medical education programmes for the hospital staff, especially the intensivists (a physician with advanced training and experience in treating critical illnesses). This may have resulted in the increased number of cadaver donations,” Gokhale added.
Even in 2016, Pune had bettered Mumbai donation record with 59 donations. Mumbai had 58 donations.
Gokhale said that Phir Zindagi — a film made by ZTCC Pune in 2015 — had gone a long way in sensitising people about the concept of organ donations.
Gauri Rathod, assistant director at the Directorate of Health Services, who also looks after the Human Organ Transplant Act, applauded the Pune ZTCC’s efforts. “Just like Mumbai, the ZTCC in Pune has worked hard at raising awareness at public hospitals, where most brain deaths are recorded,” she said.
Cadaver donations this year