ORGAN DONATION DAY : AWARENESS ARTICLE & ORGANISATIONS IN INDIA WORKING TOWARDS THE CAUSE

Mehar Kaur Bhatia

1st year MBBS, GMC Patiala

It is crucial that everyone does something in their life that gives them a sense of purpose and clarity. Organ Donation Day, celebrated every year on 13th August is one such way of motivating normal human beings to pledge to donate their organs after death, and to spread awareness about the importance of organ donation. It is a beautiful way to make a significant difference in someone’s life, and to diminish the vast disparity between organs available and the number of terminal patients in need of transplant.

To bust some myths and to carry forward this message, several organisations came into functioning in India. Organ donation organisations are of two types, those that educate about donation and the others that handle the allocation of organs based on standard protocols, keeping in view the priority order.

NON GOVERNMENT ORGANISATIONS

  1. APEX KIDNEY FOUNDATION1  

“Kidney support for all”

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  • YEAR OF ESTABLISHMENT : 2008 (founded by 2 philanthropists and 4 nephrologists)
  • OBJECTIVE: The foundation actively works to educate the general population about kidney diseases as well as providing support to those already inflicted with the disease.  
  • ACTION : provides an index of various organ transplant resources and shares experiences of people who have undergone transplant. Organises awareness events and patient education meetings, increasing knowledge about nephrological ailments. Also conducts conferences and seminars for doctors and dialysis technicians to keep them abeam of the latest developments in dialysis and kidney transplantation.
  • HIGHLIGHTS : SWAP Transplant Procedure : Apex Swap Transplant Registry ASTR

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  1. NARMADA KIDNEY FOUNDATION2

“Life shared, life lived” 

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  • YEAR OF ESTABLISHMENT: 1993
  • OBJECTIVE: To educate patients and their families about prevention and treatment of renal diseases via support groups and awareness programs. 
  • ACTION: It takes part in prevention camps, educational activities, printing and publishing of materials required for creating awareness, subsidized rate medicines and cadaver transplantation programs.
  • HIGHLIGHTS:  Promote living and cadaver donor organ transplantation for those with end stage diseases, particularly kidney disease.
  1. GIFT YOUR ORGAN FOUNDATION

“Gift life, pledge now and make a difference to 50 lives”

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  • YEAR OF ESTABLISHMENT : 2011
  • OBJECTIVE : To promote the cause of donation by educating the community with the merits and myths regarding deceased organ donations. The organisation’s main aim is to lessen the gap between government, hospitals and organ donors. 
  • ACTION: With an aim to decrease the no. of deaths due to organ donation, it helps initiate public debates and discussions on this issue, creating awareness among population and thus building strong volunteer networks throughout the nation.
  • Offline target – NGO’S
  • Online target – Online community/social media networks
  • HIGHLIGHTS : Their website serves as the official site for pledge registration and works in collaboration with The Zonal Co-ordination Committee for Transplantation in Karnataka (ZCCK) – a Government of Karnataka body.
  1. MOHAN FOUNDATION4

Support group for patients, physicians and public.” 

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  • YEAR OF ESTABLISHMENT : 1997
  • OBJECTIVE: Increasing the reach of ‘Transplantation Of Human Organs Act’, passed by the govt of India in 1994. To save a life suffering from end stage organ failure by providing a life saving organ and to counsel families of brain dead victims to consent to donate their loved one’s organs.  Also aims to raise resources to carry out the donation and transplant process with ease.
  • ACTION: Liaising with national government, state government and other organisations working towards the same cause.  Amongst these, the 4 major core groups include;
  1. Public Education For Organ Donation : For creating awareness among population regarding transplantation and providing donor cards in various languages like Hindi, English, Marathi, Telugu and Tamil.
  2. Indian Transplant Newsletter : with 27 issues so far, it keeps track of national and international transplant newsletters along with holding accountability of the Indian cadaver  transplant program.
  3. Patient Support Group :  serves as a platform for organ failure patients and their families to discuss their problems with each other as well as a panel of clinicians and counsellors.
  4. Indian Network For Organ Sharing: specifically among hospitals in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
  • HIGHLIGHTS: Made various apps like E donor Card, Organ donation, Donor optimisation mobile app & Brain death certification app

NOTTO 5(National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation) is a national level body dealing with activities related to organ donation and transplantation all over the country. It has 2 functional divisions, which are as under;

  1. NATIONAL HUMAN ORGAN AND TISSUE REMOVAL AND STORAGE NETWORK

As the central body, handling Procurement, Allocation and Distribution of Organs and Tissues in Delhi, it coordinates and monitors transplantation activities at the regional and state level. Firstly, it lays down policies and protocols based on legalities of donation. It then circulates this information and promotes the cause to concerned organizations, hospitals and donors. Lastly, it maintains accounts of registered donors, thus assisting in transplants. 

  1. NATIONAL BIOMATERIAL CENTRE

With the aim of bridging the gap between demand and supplies and quality maintenance, the centre is involved in buying,  storage and dispersal activities of products like bone and bone products, fascias, skin grafts, cornea, heart valves and vessels.  Besides this, it also ensures proper sterilization and conservation of tissue materials alongside maintaining records with utmost privacy.

On similar lines, we have SOTTO and ROTTO, at the state and regional levels respectively.

GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS

  • Andhra Pradesh – Jeevandan programme
  • Karnataka – Zonal Coordination Committee of Karnataka for Transplantation
  • Kerala – Mrithasanjeevani – The Kerala Network for Organ Sharing
  • Maharashtra – Zonal Transplant Coordination Center in Mumbai
  • Rajasthan – Navjeevan – The Rajasthan Network of Organ Sharing
  • Tamil Nadu – Cadaver Transplant Programme, TRANSTAN

“Change The Ending To Someone’s Story, Pledge Yourself To Be An Organ Donor”

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