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November 27 was observed as National Organ Donation Day, continuing its momentum this rally was organised to spread the word on organ donation.

Organ donation is the process of donating organs or biological tissue to a living recipient, who needs a transplant. There is a huge shortage of donated organs in India, which results in a large number of deaths among patients as they do not receive an organ in time.

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While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, Director ROTTO-SOTTO, Western Region, Mumbai, said, “Awareness on organ donation should be encouraged and created. That is why we aarranged this rally. Through this rally, our intention was to reach out to people and spread the message that they should voluntarily come forward themselves and donate organs. Dr Hemant Deshmukh, the dean of KEM Hospital flagged off this rally.”

One single organ and tissue donor can save or improve the lives of more than eight people, helping to restore eyesight, damaged tissues or vital functions. Organ transplantation gives thousands of children and adults each year a renewed chance at living full and active lives. However, the need for organs and tissue outweighs their availability.

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Sujata Ashtekar, Consultant Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation and State Organ and Tissue Transplantation (ROTTO-SOTTO), said, “November 27 was celebrated as National Organ Donation Day, keeping in line with the event, the rally was organised. Like every year, this year too we flagged off this rally.”

She added, “This rally started at 9:00 am from KEM Hospital and the participants proceeded to Bhoiwada police station. Doctors, nurses, NSS students and several NGO representatives were present. More than 150 people took part in this rally. Students encouraged people to donate organs.”

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Almost anyone, regardless of age, race or gender, can become an organ and tissue donor.

As per the health ministry reply in the Parliament, in 2018, only 0.8 per million people opting to donate organs, and on the other hand, the waiting list of people who are in dire need of organs is rapidly increasing.

The health ministry has also accepted that there is a steep imbalance between the demand and the supply of organs in India.

For example, we need 2 lakh kidneys every year for the transplant, but only 8,000 are available. Same is the case with heart transplants. While the demand of the heart has reached 30,000 the availability is only 200.

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