New Delhi: With the aim of spreading awareness about organ donation, 40 transplants will be carried out across the country on November 23, Director General of Health Services Jagdish Prasad said on Friday.
This will be part of a week-long celebration to mark Indian Organ Donation week, which will also include a panel discussion with five to six leaders from different religions, he said.
“Religious leaders must come forward. Their role is very vital because people still believe in re-birth which deters them from donating their organs,” Prasad said.
There is a huge gap between the demand and supply of organs for transplant. As per government data, every year two lakh patients are added to the waiting list for kidney donation while only 60,000-70,000 are able to receive a kidney. Similarly, annual requirement for liver transplants is at 25,000-30,000 livers but only about 2,000 livers are transplanted every year.
The gap gets wider for heart transplants where 50,000 transplants are required every year but only 100 transplants are achieved.
The National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) was set up in 2013 to create a national network of hospitals carrying out transplants and prepare a registry of organ donors and recipients.
An important agenda before NOTTO is also to promote deceased organ donation, where most often the donor is a victim of a road accident.
India’s deceased donor rate is at 0.3 per million population, whereas for a country like Spain the deceased donor rate is at 35 per million population.
With the aim to improve this rate NOTTO conducted a workshop last month called National Deceased Donor Stimulation Training Programme for ICU experts so that they talk to the relatives of a patient brought to ICU and make them aware about deceased organ transplant.
NOTTO is also imparting training to “Transplant Co-ordinators” and a total of 281 of them have been registered who will sensitise patients and their relatives about the importance of organ donation. It is also providing free “Retrieval Training” first to medical colleges and later to district hospitals and private hospitals as well.
There is also a 24*7 toll free helpline 1800114770 to address queries about organ donation.
Indian Organ Donation Day will be celebrated this year on November 30. Several awards for best state, best hospital, best transplant co-ordinator will be given away on this day. Several organ donors as well as their families will also be felicitated.