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Campaign needed to boost organ donations in India: Docs

Dr Dharminder Nagar
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Dr Dharminder Nagar, MD, Paras Healthcare

Even as India continues to fare poorly in organ donation, doctors and health experts have called for a campaign to encourage people to come forward to pledge their organs as thousands of people are dying annually on the organ waitlist.

The experts were speaking on the occasion of World Organ Donation Day in Delhi on August 13, 2019.

Dr Dharminder Nagar, MD, Paras Healthcare, said, “As often discussed, poor rate of cadaver donors has been a major challenge to India's organ donation program. An overwhelming majority of organ donors in India are live donors who are either related to the patient or are a part of an organ swap arrangement.”

Dr Nagar stated, “Lack of awareness about brain death, socio cultural factors, religious beliefs and lack of organizational support including enough transplant centers and well trained transplant coordinators are major challenges to our organ donation program.”

Dr. Sonal Asthana, Sr. Consultant - HPB & Transplant Surgery, Aster CMI Hospital, pointed out, “Undoubtedly, the demand far outstrips the availability of organs. Due to the prevalence of myths and superstitions, many do not think about donating their organs even after death. Awareness on organ donation is, therefore, the only way out of this depressing scenario.”

Dr Asthana pointed out, “Organ donation is a noble deed and the need of the hour. It can be donated by anybody in good general health. So, this World Organ Donation Day, take a pledge to help those who are in need of organs for survival.”

In 2018, the Central government mandated a change in format of driving license to display whether the individual has pledged his/her organs in case of brain death. Much like the driving license mentions the blood group of the individual, it will also now include a column stating whether the individual consents to become a donor.


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