HYDERABAD: With the number of critical diseases skyrocketing, presidents of six leading medical societies- Cardiology Society of India (CSI), Indian Chest Society (ICS), Indian Society of Gastroenterology (ISG), Association of Surgeons of India (ASI), Indian Society of Nephrology (ISN) and International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association, Indian Chapter (IHPBA), vouched for the need to promote organ donation.
While addressing a webinar organised by the AIG Hospitals on the occasion of World Organ Donation Day, these doctors said the true potential of cadaver organ donation has been left unexplored. Pointing out that the organ donation rate in India is only 0.8 per million population, they said that just increasing this to more than one per million population would help meet half the requirement.
“In India, there are just 11,000 donations being done, as against the requirement of 3.5 lakh organs by various categories of patients. This is a huge gap, which is why expert voices from six different medical associations are here to speak to the public and civil society to promote the cause,” said Dr D Nageshwar Reddy, Chairman AIG Hospitals.
The gap is more so in cardiology wherein, every year, only 250 out of 50,000 patients who need heart transplant get the same. “One of the most crucial elements in heart transplant is the timely intimation of organ availability and assurance of seamless logistics which are things that need to be coordinated by the healthcare institutions and doctors,” said Dr. PP Mohanan, president, CSI.
Dr. AK Bhalla, president, ISN, said: “Lack of education, awareness and hesitation from the family members create major roadblocks. For instance, when it comes to last-stage kidney diseases, every year 2.5 lakh suffer from the same. But statistics show that in the 45 years between 1971 and 2015, of the total 21,395 kidneys transplanted in India, only 783 were from a cadaver or deceased donors.”
The doctors further stated that some States such as Telangana have four donations per million population and that it must be a model for the entire country. “Each donor can potentially save up to eight lives. We need support from the civil society to increase awareness,” said Dr GV Rao, director, AIG Hospitals and former president of IHPBA.