Maharashtra considers launching an app to facilitate organ donation

In India, awareness about organ donation has not penetrated in the masses. There is a huge gap between the demand and supply of organs. To reduce this gap, and to save precious lives, the Maharashtra government is seriously considering the option of launching an app

Maharashtra considers launching an app to facilitate organ donation

To spread a word about importance of organ donation, and with an aim to penetrate amongst the masses, the Maharashtra government is now considering to launch an app to facilitate organ donation in the state.

The Ministry of Health, Maharashtra, has taken this initiative in order to promote organ donation movement across the state. An officer working in state’s health department said few days ago, state health minister Dr Deepak Sawant had called for a meeting to discuss about various aspects, and current scenario of organ donation movement in Maharashtra. In the meeting the idea to launch an app was discussed.

Speaking to My Medical Mantra Dr Sawant said, “There is a huge disparity between the demand and supply of Organs in India, if a patient is identified a brain dead, then we need to act very fast. If we act in time one person can save lives of 8 people. We need to take consent of the relatives as well. This takes time. That is why, the idea to have a dedicated app for organ donation came up during the discussion.”

Dr Sawant added, “In case of an accidental injury, where the patient is critical and brain-dead, and if that person has already registered himself/herself for organ donation, seeking consent of the relatives would be relatively easy, as he/she themselves have given their consent to donate organs. So without wasting time, we can transplant organs and save lives.”

The government is planning to link this Organ Donation App to Aadhar, so that people can easily register and state government and the allied agencies will have a ready database with them. This will make the access and identifying the possible organ donor becomes easy.

“This is an ambitious project and will require 2-3 months’ time to come up with an app. We have roped in Zonal Transplant Committee and all the NGO’s who are working in the field of Organ Donation awareness. We have called for different suggestions form all the related parties so that, with help of those suggestions we can prepare an app, which can save lives of people,”said an officer from health department.

As per government estimate, India is short of more than 1.5 lakh kidneys per year, while the estimated requirement is 1,75,000 lakh per year. Yearly, around 1,000 liver transplants are performed, while the actual requirement is 50,000. Yearly 50,000 people require heart transplant and around 20,000 require lungs as well.

The rate of organ donation in India is merely 0.03%, way below the international mark.

Identifying the brain-dead patient, explaining them the importance of organ donation then obtaining their consent for the same, is a mammoth process, but with this app, the process will be much faster and quicker, said Dr Sawant.

Recently, a Delhi-based NGO, after receiving a number of queries for organ donation, has decided to come up with a body Donation directory. The Organ India team took six months to gather data from all states where body donation is possible.