VISAKHAPATNAM: Sitting next to the body of her 12-year-old son Sai Manohar Krishna who died in a mishap, D Kameswari from Pendurthi in Visakhapatnam rang up an NGO saying that she wanted to donate the organs of her son to the needy. It was in 2012. “Rather, I like to see my son in many living persons,” she had said then. And the organs of Sai were transplanted in eight persons who got a new lease of life.
However, many patients are still dying for want of organs. The Jeevan Daan scheme authorities blame it on lack of awareness and the myths prevailing among the people.
As a result the gap between the requirement and availability of organs is too wide. According to authorities of Jeevan Dan scheme, more than 3,000 persons have registered seeking organs in the state. But the organ harvesting scenario is bleak which is just one in a month. Kidney seekers top the list, followed by liver, heart and other organs. Many people die due to lack of kidney donors, according to doctors.
Care Hospitals head surgeon Venugopal says that the need for kidney transplants is on the rise owing to increasing diabetes and blood pressure cases, adding that across India, there is a need of 5 lakh kidneys per day, while only 1,500 are available. Very recently in Visakhapatnam, a 25-year-old K Nagaraju from Aganampudi died due to non-availability of kidney in time even though his case was registered in Jeevan Daan.
“Heart transplants though less in need compared to kidney and liver, its transplantation is the toughest among all. Out of 10 transplants, there is a possibility of just one to be fit for the patient,” said Ch Indira, coordinator for Vizag Centre Jeevan Daan Scheme.
Jeevan Daan officials say lack of awareness among people hits the organ harvesting. “Compared to the past, awareness has increased. But, it is far from adequate. Still there is a big gap between the availability and the requirement,” said G Krishna Murthy, CEO of AP Jeevan Daan Scheme.
Krishna Murthy also said that in case of people ready to donate organs , there are several issues. “Even if they sign papers to transplant their organs, in many cases their families do not allow it. So we give prefer the brain dead cases,” he added.
However, the NGOs creating awareness to donate organs allege that the authorities of Jeevan Daan themselves were not aware of many issues. All India Organs and Body Donors Association head Guduru Seethamahalakshmi said Jeevan Daan did not even have contact numbers of many government hospitals where brain dead patients are being brought.
“The Jeevan Daan centre at King George Hospital does not have any facilities. Even the contact number is nowhere to be seen. How can people know about it? The scene at many other hospitals are also no different. The brain dead body goes without any use,” she adds.