MOVEMENT FOR ORGAN DONATION YET TO GAIN TRACTION IN INDIA
Saturday, 18 August 2018 | PNS | Haridwar–
What can be a bigger gift than gifting a life to another person by donating a body organ after death? But many of us hardly realise this. On the World Organ Donation Day which is observed every year in India along with the rest of the world on August 13, some organisations and people speak volume of the importance of donating organs for those who need and soon things are forgotten. There is a huge gap between demand and supply of body organs which can be filled if people pledge for organ donation when alive. The reality is that a handful of ash is what is left after death. If properly planned beforehand, one can give life to other persons by donating body organs to those who are in need. The doctors based in the city have launched an awareness programme to inspire people to plan their life after death by donating functional organs of the body as part of the observance of organ donation week that started on August 13. They said that healthy transplantable organs and tissues might be donated to be transplanted into another person whose organs are malfunctioning and posing threat to life. Donated organs give the recipient the opportunity of a longer and better quality of life, they said.
As per the current statistics, in India, the current organ donation rate is 0.5 donors per million population as compared to more than 30 donors per million in some western countries. Globally Spain tops in terms of organ donation while India’s neighbour Sri Lanka is the biggest cornea supplier to the world. The Sri Lankan Government has made it mandatory for its people to donate eyes after death.
The donor of the organs plays a role of god in the life of organ transplanted person, said Dr M S Singhal who runs a diabetes treatment clinic. “Our scriptures are full of instances in which the saints and sages donated their body parts even when alive. Rishi Dadhichi donated his body, bones to help Devas, says a legend. By pledging to donate organs after death, one could play a major role in beautifying life of someone, increasing the period of living far beyond expectations. We hope that the movement for body organ donation on death would gain momentum in India in the coming days. We are doing our mite to the great cause,” he said.
Neha Malik, founder member of Muskan Foundation said, “Through this awareness week which began on 13 August-marking the world organ donation day-we have strived to motivate the normal healthy human beings to pledge to donate organs after death. We are conducting campaign in schools and colleges to popularise the noble concept of organ donation on death. It provides a great opportunity in everyone’s life to come ahead and pledge to donate their precious organs on death so as to ensure that others who need them can live a proper, healthy life. Five members of our foundation have pledged full body donation after death and they have accordingly got registered at Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences at Jolly Grant for the same. Several others have also pledged for donation of eyes after death.”
Donation of a pair of eyes within six hours of death can benefit four persons since cornea is used by layering process, added Malik. “The family members can observe certain precautions like calling the nearest eye bank or NGO which has tie-up with eye- bank, keeping eyes of the deceased moist by putting wet cottons over the eyes and pillow under the head of the person. Death certificate by any local doctor is a must for the doctors who perform surgical removal of organs,” she said.
A non-governmental organisation, Sri Lanka Eye Donation Society has provided over 60,000 corneas for corneal transplantation for patients living across 57 countries since 1961. It is one of the major suppliers of human eyes to the world with a supply of approximately 3,000 corneas per year.
The process of organ donation is governed by a transplant regulatory body and special acts have been laid down by authorities for the same. All hospitals conducting transplants have to be registered under the government and follow rules and regulations as per the laws.
Kidney, lungs, heart, eye, liver, pancreas, cornea, small intestine, skin tissues, bone tissues, heart valves and veins can be used for transplant surgeries. Organs must be removed as soon as possible following brain death while circulation is maintained artificially. Tissues may be removed within 12 to 24 hours, say the doctors.
Director, Yogmata Pilot Baba Hospital, Dr Pawan Kumar said, “Vital organs like heart, liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, and pancreas can be donated in case of ‘brain death’. When the brain stops functioning, these organs can still be used for the recipients. However other tissues like corneas, heart valves, skin, bones etc. can be donated only in case of natural death.”
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