‘More to Give:’ Delhi Daredevils raise awareness on organ donation

India as a country has a celebrated and respected culture of giving. To put others’ needs in front of one’s own desires is something that is truly Indian. But this culture of giving is not reflected in the area of organ donation, because of lack of awareness and socio-cultural norms.  This is clearly evident in the extremely low donation numbers in India and the lack of awareness of the process of organ donation

‘More to Give:’ Delhi Daredevils raise awareness on organ donation
Delhi daredevils’ team with Dr. Avnish Seth, Director, Fortis Organ Retrieval and Transplant (first from right) and Dr. Samir Parikh, Director, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare (second from right)

Fortis Healthcare had organised a special event celebrating the ‘Spirit of Giving’ to raise aware around the cause of cadaver organ donation. The special guest for this occasion was cricketer Gautam Gambhir and other team members and team officials were also present at the event.

Other guests included Dr Avnish Seth, Director, Fortis Organ Retrieval and Transplant (FORT), Dr Samir Parikh, Director, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health, Fortis Memorial Research Institute and Col. Harinder Chehal, COO – NCR Region, Fortis Healthcare.

The highlight of the event was a sport psychology team engagement exercise conducted by Dr Parikh and the Fortis mental health team with the players.

Gautam Gambhir, the lead cricketer from Delhi Daredevils shared, “I want to request everyone to become an organ donor. I myself am an organ donor. The ability to help someone live a better life – there is no better feeling than this. Organ donation reflects humanity’s capability to give another life after we have lived our own. It is an initiative which is very close to my heart and I urge everyone to become an organ donor. I am happy to be a part of Fortis ‘More to Give’ initiative”.

Only 720 Cadaveric donations (from a deceased donor) took place last year in our country which represents 0.8 person/ million individuals. In a nation of over a billion people, that’s not even 1 donor in a million. In comparison, while we are at a fraction of 1%, western nations like the United States are believed to have organ donor numbers in the range of 15 to 20%.

Each year, half a million Indians die while waiting for an organ transplant, because no suitable donor can be found for them. That’s a life lost every minute.

People need to know that even after they have passed away, they can save lives, they still have #MoreToGive – all through the simple act of registering as an organ donor.

As a leader in the healthcare sector, Fortis Healthcare is pledging to take up the cause of creating awareness around the loss of lives that happen for the want of organs.  Fortis’ ‘More to Give’ initiative seeks to mobilise the nation in this direction.

Through this initiative, it seek to sensitise people towards the ever growing need-gap and also make them contribute to the solution – by pledging to become a donor and by spreading the word, far and beyond. Only by driving a systemic change in the perceptions and the behaviour surrounding organ donation, can we increase the number of registered organ donors in India. The intent of the campaign is to reach the ‘2/million donor rate’ by 2020.

In India, less than 5,000 kidney transplants are carried out annually against an estimated requirement of over 175,000. Similarly, only 1,000 liver transplants are performed every year in a country where over 50,000 perish due to end-stage liver disease, mostly related to preventable causes such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

The annual requirement of hearts is estimated to be around 50,000 and lungs about 20,000. There is a need to bridge the wide gap between demand and supply of organs and spread the message about the nobleness of this deed. Donating organs is a humanitarian cause that will gain momentum with increasing awareness in society.