After witnessing a lull for over a decade, aggressive campaigning and awareness on cadaver donation has borne fruit for Maharashtra. With consistent efforts, Maharashtra registered nearly 50% rise in cadaver donations in 2016 compared to last year.
“It is a collective effort by NGOs, government and private hospitals as well as media. We will continue to spread awareness on cadaver donation. The waiting period for organs is still very high as compared to number of cadaver donations,” said Girish Mahajan, state medical education minister.
This year, 120 cadaver donations were registered in Maharashtra, out of which 53 happened in Mumbai and 50 were witnessed in Pune.
“Cadaver donations have given a new lease of life to 318 people. We still have a month and are hoping to set a new record. Last year, there were only 67 cadaver donations,” said Dr Gauri Rathod, nodal officer for cadaver donation programme in Maharashtra.
Maharashtra also witnessed 30 heart transplants and its first pancreas transplant. With awareness on cadaver donation at its peak, state health department wishes to make organ transplant affordable to poor patients.
“We plan to strengthen organ transplant programme in government hospitals too. Within a month or two, we plan to have transplant programme in Amravati and Nashik hospitals,” said Rathod.
Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda, who was guest of honour at the event, pledged to donate his organs and tissues. JP Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, too, pledged his organs for donation.
Speaking at the event, Nadda stated that donating organs is a gift and is a selfless and moral act.
“Let organ donation become a national movement and let us show to the world that even in death we care for our fellow citizens and humanity at large. Organ is a national resource and not even one should be wasted,” he said.
Nadda added that his ministry is presently framing rules, regulations and protocols for facilitating organ donation.
“Every year, about 1.5 lakh brain deaths happen in India, and organs from them can be used for saving lives of lakhs of patients,” he said.
He further said it is a matter of concern that current organ donation and transplantation rate is nowhere close to the requirement for organs in the country.
“We have started taking decisive steps for harvesting cadaver organs and tissues and saving many lives as a result of this,” he said.