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Donating hope: 86% kidney donors are women, says study

When it comes to prove what it takes to be a woman, the fairer sex has shown that she can not only give life but can save it too.

lucknow Updated: Mar 08, 2018 12:47 IST
Anupam Srivastava
Anupam Srivastava
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Kidney,Donors,Organ donors

When it comes to prove what it takes to be a woman, the fairer sex has shown that she can not only give life but can save it too.

A study by doctors at the Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) and the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, has revealed that women have surpassed men in saving lives through kidney donation.

According to the study, out of the total husband-wife donors, 87% women have donated kidneys to men in family while men account for merely 13%.

When it comes to receiving the organ, the average is 5:1 where five men receive organ on every woman undergoing transplant.

At SGPGIMS, 109 kidney transplants were performed last year out of which 79 were men and 30 women.

Head of nephrology department, SGPGIMS, Prof RK Sharma said the data analysis of last 20 years of kidney transplant represented the patriarchal nature of our society.

“Most of the times women volunteer for organ donation as men are the earning members of a family. Some women are indirectly coaxed for organ donation,” he said.

“In one such case, a newly-married woman donated her kidney to her husband. The transplant failed after one year after which the woman’s in-laws started blaming her for the problem. They demanded that she should arrange for another donor to save the man’s life. They did not realise that she was also left with one kidney and any harassment could harm her,” Prof Sharma said.

This is the reason why SGPGIMS is organising an awareness programme ‘Kidneys and women’s health –Include, value, empower’ on March 8 to mark International Women’s Day as well as World Kidney Day (observed on the second Thursday of March).

According to Prof Narayan Prasad of SGPGIMS, an analysis of the data of kidney donors shows a peculiar pattern where women are always at the receiving end.

“The study has found that around 86% of donors are women and only 14% are men. In these institutes, about 34% organ donation was done by spouses, 35% by parents (of which 90% are mothers). When it comes to gender break-up of spousal donation, nearly 87% of are women,” Prof Prasad said.

“There is another pattern. The number of men suffering from kidney failure (65%) is higher than women (35%). While 34% parents donate kidney to their sons or daughters but only 2.5% children donate kidney to their parents,” he said.

Among siblings, 11% donate kidneys while 9% of donors are not related to the patients. Remaining donations come from cadaver.

Situation is better in Lucknow where against three women, one man is a donor.

Prof Amit Gupta of SGPGIMS said the rate of transplant among women was also low.

“There have been cases where kidney transplant has not been carried out as the patient was a woman. For such people, the procedure is too expensive and women are not that important for them,” he said.

“The pattern is an eye-opener for our society. For us, husband and wife are equal partners. Men are earning members that is why they hesitate in donating kidney. Men also have the liberty to remarry while women don’t marry again,” Prof Gupta said.

The study has found that the scenario is rapidly changing in cities. With urbanisation awareness on kidney transplantation is increasing.

“There is a myth in our society that men cannot work once they donate their kidney. They can lead an absolutely normal life after organ donation,” Prof Narayan Prasad said.

According to the study, women were major donors in traditional joint families while in nuclear families the balance is better as both are employed.

First Published: Mar 08, 2018 12:47 IST