‘Cadaveric donation almost non-existent in Uttarakhand’

Tuesday, 14 September 2021 | PNS | Dehradun

Though a single cadaveric donation has the potential to save the lives of at least seven to eight people, it is still a distant reality in Uttarakhand. A nephrologist in Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences (HIMS) Dehradun, Dr Vikas Chandel said that organ transplantation from living donors is performed in the state but people are quite reluctant toward organ donation after death known as a cadaveric donation. He said that hospitals here perform organ transplants from living donors who are mostly the relatives of the patient but due to various factors, the number of cadaveric donations is almost non-existent. He asserted that the state is not even at its starting phase of organ donation as nothing is being done by authorities at any level to educate people about their misleading perception of organ donation. “The whole North India mostly performs transplantation from living donors due to the lack of cadaveric donations. In Uttarakhand, factors like superstitions and spiritual beliefs, lack of proper education about the process and no concrete initiative taken by the authorities on organ donation play a key role in such a low number of donors,” stated Chandel. He said that the state does not have even 0.5 per cent of people as organ donors. He said that it is crucial for the authorities to make proper laws, provide adequate infrastructural facilities and work towards raising awareness among people in association with medical teams to break the myths that the public have regarding organ donation.

Chandel shared that about 18 transplantations were done during the Covid-19 pandemic in HIMS but all were through living donors. He also revealed that more than 90 per cent of living donors in the state are generally women who donate kidneys. He said, “Most of the time men say that they cannot donate a kidney because they have to stay more active than women for work purposes due to which, women are mostly pressurised or asked to donate a kidney. Such myths can be debunked by educating people through awareness programmes by authorities.”

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