The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is all set to spearhead a movement for encouraging organ donation in the State.
The premier health institution, which has planned to establish organ banking facilities to support the organ transplantation programme once the hospital starts full-fledged operations, has started activities to make the people aware of organ and body donation and motivate them by demolishing the myths and apprehensions on the issue.
The first of the awareness programmes was hosted to mark the International Organ Donation Day with as many as 13 persons coming forward to pledge their organs. Seven of them were provided with certificates by Director, AIIMS Prof AK Mahapatra who called upon the people to come forward to save many lives.
About 34 organs and tissues from heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, intestines to cornea, heart valves, skin, ligaments and even veins can be harvested in case of brain death.
There are about one lakh brain dead people every year accounting for four to six per cent of all hospital deaths.
But organ donation has not picked up in the country. There is not even one donation per one million people. Only 0.16 in one million donates organs in India whereas Spain has 35 per million, Britain 27, US 26 and Australia 11 per million.
There is a requirement of at least two lakh kidney transplantations annually but only 4,000 are actually carried out, thanks to shortage of donors and ineffective cadaver donation programme. As high as 95 per cent kidney donors are live.
Discussing the issue, Prof Mahapatra said anyone from a child to elderly can be a donor, provided they are medically fit.
Though there is awareness on the issue, people are ignorant on how to pledge their organs or the processes involved. Among others, Medical Superintendent Dr Ambica Prasad Mohanty and head of Traumacare Centre Dr PC Mohanty also spoke.