CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu bagged the Best Performing State award in cadaver organ donation on Thursday. With this, the state regained first place in the Union Health Ministry rankings after losing the title in 2020.
On Thursday, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya presented the Best State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (SOTTO) award to Health Minister Ma Subramanian in the presence of health secretary Gagandeep Singh Bedi at the 13th Indian Organ Donation Day function held in New Delhi.
According to officials, the state was ranked number one for six consecutive years from 2015-2020. In 2020 and 2021, owing to Covid-19 and other factors, the state slipped from first place. In 2020, the state retrieved organs from 55 donors, 60 in 2021 and 156 donors in 2022. The award is for the state’s performance in 2022.
According to the health department data, the state has so far retrieved 579 organs and tissues from 97 donors this year. Of them, 374 were major organs — 173 kidneys, 87 liver, 72 lungs, 37 heart, three pancreas, and one each of small bowel and stomach. Others were minor organs and tissues — 118 corneas, 43 bones, 30 heart valves and 14 skin.
Since the beginning of the organ donation programme in 2008, the state has retrieved 6,249 major organs from 1,706 donors. Speaking to the press after receiving the award, Subramanian said, “Tamil Nadu has the highest organ harvest centres -40 in government and 120 private ones.
Before the DMK government came to power, only 13 government hospitals had organ harvest licenses. An increase in organ harvest centres and awareness programmes on organ donation by the state helped the state to regain its place. Even the CM raised awareness by pledging his organs, Subramanian added.
Subramanian recently announced that from next year, deans of medical colleges will be given awards for good work in organ transplantation. The award will be presented by the chief minister on Independence Day every year.
Meanwhile, the first bilateral hand transplant recipient in Tamil Nadu, R Narayanasamy, lit the lamp along with Mansukh Mandaviya and others at the event. Narayanasamy underwent double hand transplant surgery at the Government Stanley Medical College Hospital in 2018. Dr N Gopalakrishnan, member secretary, the Transplant Authority of Tamil Nadu (TRANSTAN) was also present at the event.