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Posted at: Apr 28, 2018, 12:07 AM; last updated: Apr 28, 2018, 12:07 AM (IST)

Donate organs

Need to spread the word to save lives
Donate organs

There is some good news for patients in India awaiting organ transplants as many people are coming forth to pledge organs. Their waiting list that has been moving at a painfully snail’s pace till now, with less than 1 donor per one million citizens, promises to gain speed. Though we are still far from Spain’s figure of 36 donors per one million — the best donation rate in the world — awareness drives towards this cause are bearing fruit (rather, organs) in the past few years. The director of the nodal agency, National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation, Dr Vimal Bhandari, has said that in just two years, the number of people pledging organs has risen from a mere 9,000 to 15 lakh. More heartening is that a lot more people, specially the youth, are warming up to the idea of helping save lives or the suffering humanity. That unlike those set in their orthodox beliefs being hard nuts to crack, youngsters are embracing compassion as their overriding religion and signing the organ donor cards in large numbers is a relieving thought. 

However, much more needs to be done to fill the yawning gap between the needy recipients and givers. We are suffering from dismally staggering statistics: 85,000 new patients cry for a liver transplant every year, but only 3 per cent of them are lucky enough to get them; of the 2 lakh in the queue for kidneys, only 8,000 manage to get the precious organ; against 50,000 applicants for heart only 50 are made available; the demand for cornea far outnumbers the supply. The government has even had to ordain that Indian patients be given priority over foreigners for transplants. It is no wonder that an illegal organ donation trade and racket is booming despite strict laws and regulation.

Given the high number of deaths by accidents and brain-dead patients in India, cadaveric donations are the biggest pool ready to be harvested. What is required is to bust the myths mired in socio-cultural mores and surrounding the concept of organ donation. Admittedly, a challenging task. But there can be no bigger donation than alleviating a fellow human’s misery and pain and giving the person a fresh lease of life.

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