VISAKHAPATNAM: Andhra Pradesh Health Minister Kamineni Srinivas today pledged to be an organ donor on the occasion of 'World Organ Donation Day' even as he appealed people and especially the kin of brain dead patients to come forward for the cause, to save the needy.
Inaugurating an event on organ donation and transplantation organised by CARE hospital here, the minister said he has decided to donate his organs and will also mention it in his will.
"The awareness about organ donation is very low in the country. Only 0.16 percent per ten lakh Indians donated their organs in the previous year. More than five lakh people are losing their lives due to shortage of organs," he said.
Underlining the need of organ donation, Srinivas appealed people to come forward to donate organs and tissues.
"Donating organs amounts to giving a second life to a patient (who needs transplant)," he said.
Speaking to reporters, he said the government will soon announce its health policy and is committed to provide quality medicare.
He said the government had also decided to supply generic medicines for cheap rates in the state and will take measures to reduce Infant Mortality and Mother Mortality rate which is very high in the state.
CARE Hospital Director Dr Mohan Maharaj said at present there are about 2.5 lakh kidney, 50,000 heart and 50,000 liver transplant cases pending in the country.
"In answer to such a high demand, the supply is less than 0.1 percent...this reflects how grave is the situation," he said.
"Approximately, 250 people meet with road accidents daily and go brain dead. If such cases are declared, it is possible to save over 40 percent of the patients who are in desperate need of organ transplants," Mohan added.