Only 0.08 % people consent to donate organs in India —to shed light on this poignant fact and spread awareness, city hospitals observed Organ Donation Day on Saturday.
Every brain-dead person can serve as many as eight people with the donation of organs like lungs, liver, heart, pancreas and kidneys.
“As declared in Paris in 1959, a brain-dead situation actually leads to wastage of precious resources, since the person is, for all intents and purposes, dead. Organ donation should be adopted in such a situation,” Dr Baldev Singh Aulukh, professor of urology and head of transplant surgery, DMCH, said.
“The concept was adapted by the Indian government under Transplantation of Human Organ Act, 1994 Act and later by the Punjab government,” he added.
Aukhukh, who is also the president of Gift Of Life, Organ, Donation Awareness Society (GLODAS), further said, “Organ donation is a noble cause and to create awareness regarding it, we conduct regular camps across cities. We have been successful in motivating almost 50,000 people till date to consider organ donation.”
Fortis observes day
An Organ Donation Day program was organised by Fortis Hospital in Ludhiana, which was attended by more than 100 patients and their relatives on Saturday.
The session was followed by a question-answer round on the procedure and difficulties faced during donation.
While the rate of organ donation in India may be abysmally low, in many western countries the figure goes up to 10 to 20 %.
“Every year, 5 lakh people, who could have been saved by a donor, die. For the 2 lakh people suffering from incurable liver diseases, a liver transplant would be life-saving. For the 10 lakh people having corneal blindness, a corneal transplant would be a gift of sight!” Dr Ajay Pal Sandhu , consultant, Fortis’ psychiatry department said.
After brain-death the liver, kidneys, heart and pancreas can be successfully retrieved. After natural death, cornea, heart valves and bone marrow can be retrieved.
Dr Ashish Jindal, consultant urologist and kidney transplant surgeon, Fortis Hospital Ludhiana, said, “Kidney disease is rampant in our country and its incidence is expected to increase with rising occurrence of diabetes and heart diseases. There is need of 2 lakh kidney transplants a year, but only 3,500 transplants are performed because of lack of living donors. If more people would donate their kidneys after death then such cadaveric (dead) transplants would be the norm obviating the complex tape and corruption which exists in kidney transplantation today.”
SPS hospital launches ‘Gift an organ’ programme
SPS Hospital and the Ludhiana chapter of CII Young Indians launched the “Gift an Organ Initiative” on Organ Donation Day with an aim of spreading information and awareness regarding organ donation.
Dr Arindam Ghosh, head of department of GI surgery and liver transplant, said, “We need to create awareness in India. In Spain, the rate of organ donation stands at 33 per a million inhabitants, among the highest in the world. In India, the rate drops to a low 0.1 per million. It’s been more than 15 years since the law declaring brain death came into effect in India, yet there is limited awareness about it.”