Big push for organ donation on cards in Haryana
Both rich Indians and foreigners prefer Gurugram-based super speciality private hospitals for kidney and liver transplant.
However, in spite of rising figures of organ transplants, the number of patients anxiously waiting for kidney and liver transplants is more than the available donors.
For example, every year near 10,000 people need organ transplantation in Haryana. However, there are just 500 donors. This means only 5% of the demand for organs is being fulfilled in Haryana, as per government records.
As per official figures, private hospitals in Gurugram are leading with 612 organs, including kidney (322), liver (280) and cornea (10) transplanted in 2018. The beneficiaries include 425 Indians and 187 foreigners.
“The government-run hospitals in the state don’t have expertise and facilities to retrieve and transplant organs at present. PGI Rohtak will shortly have this facility,” a top government functionary said.
Now, in his second innings, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has decided to launch a multi-pronged “mass movement” on organ donation in Gurugram, Faridabad, Rohtak and Panchkula where private hospitals are equipped for transplantation.
This drive is being launched on the lines of the Beti-Bachao-Beti Padhao which the BJP government had launched in its previous term. The ‘donate organs, save lives’ campaign will be monitored by the CMO. The key objective of the drive is to harvest organs from the victims of brain deaths and make them available to poor patients too.
Experts behind the Beti-Bachao-Beti Padhao scheme will monitor donate organ campaign.
According to Khattar, Haryana has immense potential to save lives through organ donation and transplantation. However, he admits that the awareness amongst citizens is low.
“The state government is committed to saving lives through this people-led movement. The citizens will be motivated to donate organs. This is just the beginning,” Khattar said.
The BJP-JJP coalition government that had assumed office in last week of October 2019 on January 17 rolled out the programme by sensitising deputy commissioners of four districts and directing them to hold “kick-off meetings.”
“…CM has noticed that there is poor awareness about organ donation and transplantation in the state…he has desired that massive awareness programmes should be started at all levels…,” Dr Rakesh Gupta, project director, CM’s Good Governance Associates (CMGGA) programme, told the DCs.
Gurugram and Faridabad districts have already organised two workshops on January 24. On Monday, Rohtak district held the first workshop and on Tuesday Panchkula administration will launch the campaign.
Government sources say either Khattar or senior officers are likely to address all the DCs via video conference about this programme on Wednesday.
Gurugram deputy commissioner Amit Khatri also held a meeting on January 21 with representatives of leading NGOs dealing with organ transplantation and doctors of multi-specialty hospitals.
“We are carrying forward the CM’s vision of saving lives through organ donation and transplantation in four districts. After successful responses in these districts, we plan to scale this across the state very soon,” Dr Gupta said.
Lack of awareness, misconceptions and myths, inadequate facilities, poor enforcement of organ transplantation law and poor monitoring of organ donation and transplantation are five key challenges the government has identified in implementing this move.
To overcome these challenges the government has planned to launch IEC—Information, Education and Communication.
While programmes like radio shows on success stories and donor families will be launched, the celebrities will be roped in and success stories publicised across all platforms.
“The deputy commissioners (DCs) will have to actively work with relevant stakeholders and ensure that awareness is increased at all levels in the district,” Khattar said.
As per official records, Haryana can help at least 36,000 patients awaiting organ transplant. Because of the total 1.8 lakh deaths in the state, about 6,000 are brain deaths due to accidents.
Every brain dead person can donate at least six organs.
A retired doctor, who is monitoring the project, said the objective is to increase cadaver donations over live donations and also help poor patients.
“So far, only people having money could afford organ transplantation,” he said. “This is a new beginning. We have started it from the scratch but it will bear fruits.”
KNOW ORGAN TRANSPLANT
What is organ transplantation: Surgical removal of an organ such as heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, kidney from one person and planting it in another.
What is living organ donation: When the donor is alive and donates an organ to save the life of a person suffering from organ failure. This can be done only in the case of kidney and liver. Everyone has two kidneys and can live with one, while part of a liver can be taken from a donor and transplanted into another person. One kidney is capable of maintaining the body functions, while segments of liver regenerate after a period of time in both recipient and the donor.
What is Cadaver or deceased organ donation: When the organs of a dead person are donated. This happens in case of brain death.
What is brain death: It occurs due to severe injury or trauma. In cases of severe brain injury, the patient is put on the ventilator so that he/she can keep breathing. However, the patient is brain dead. Since the body is connected to the ventilator, the organs remain alive even though the person’s brain is dead. This is the only time organ donation is possible. In the event of brain death, all vital organs can be donated.
Natural death: In case a person dies of natural death the heart stops beating and only tissues can be donated. Tissues that can be transplanted include heart valves, tendons, ligaments, skin and parts of the eye such as cornea.
How quickly donated organs are transplanted: Heart: 4-6 hours, Lungs: 4-8 hours, Intestine: 6-10 hour, Liver: 12-15 hour, Pancreas: 12-24 hours, Kidneys: 24-48 hours.