Proportion of men donating organs improved in past 2 decades in India: Data
Over the past two decades, the proportion of men donating organs has increased in India. While between 1998 to 2007, just 26% of the livers for children were donated by men, the percentage has risen to 46% between 2008 and 2021, according to the data provided by a large tertiary care hospital from Delhi.
Women have predominantly been organ donors in the country. “When paediatric liver transplant started in India, people did not know much about the surgery. The parents did not know of anyone who had undergone a transplant or even heard of someone who had. They did not know whether it would succeed and how the life of the children would be after the transplant. Plus, it is also a major surgery for the donor. So, when it came to men in the family, they are more questioning about the procedure, whereas the mothers just donated their liver,” said Dr Anupam Sibal, paediatric gastroenterologist and hepatologist at Indraprastha Apollo hospital.
When it came to recipients, the ratio is skewed in favour of the male child. Between 1998 and 2012, only 29% of the livers went to male children, data from Apollo hospital suggests. This ratio has improved to 40% between 2016 and 2021.
“This is an encouraging trend to see that more and more girl children are undergoing transplant. Initially, parents were worried about whether the girls would undergo normal puberty, what about their wedding. These concerns are slowly easing up now that they have seen others, more people are willing to do it,” said Dr Sibal.
Established success of liver transplants, increased access to it, and reduced costs at high flow centres have also helped in changing the trends.
“The success rate of liver transplant at 8 years is around 90%, now people know about this. They have seen others receiving the treatment too. Then, there are high volume centres like ours where the costs have come down. It costs about Rs15 lakh for a transplant; it was much more when we had started,” he said.
“And, when it comes to the cost, we receive donations from our previous patients, there are several funds like PM relief fund and CM relief fund that also provides for the surgeries,” said Dr Sibal.