Acute Organ Transplant Crisis In India
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Acute Organ Transplant Crisis In India

India is facing an acute organ transplantation crisis: an acute imbalance between the number of organs donated and the number of Indians waiting for an organ donation means hundreds of Indians die needlessly awaiting an organ transplant.Cultural traditions and rigid social mindsets are difficult obstacles to overcome and paint a bleak picture for the future of organ transplantation in India.

India is facing an acute organ transplantation crisis: an acute imbalance between the number of organs donated and the number of Indians waiting for an organ donation means hundreds of Indians die needlessly awaiting an organ transplant. Cultural traditions and rigid social mindsets are difficult obstacles to overcome and paint a bleak picture for the future of organ transplantation in India.

Dr. P.K. Dave, head of orthopedics at Rockland Hospital stressed, There are a lot of myths associated with organ donation which needs to be addressed to solve this problem. Most Indians generally believe that it is something against the nature and an individuals soul will not rest in peace if the body parts are mutilated.The crisis was brought to the publics attention when Indias Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh died last year while waiting for a liver transplant.

Worldwide greater than 25,000 liver transplants are performed each year against an annual demand for 2,000,000 liver transplants. In India, doctors in 2009 performed only 500 liver transplants and 750 in 2010. Zee News, in a story on the transplant crisis in India, published May 14, 2013 reported, The Government of India enacted the Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment)  in 2011 which made provisions for simplifying the procedure for human organ donation: The provisions included retrieval centers and their registration for retrieval of organs from deceased donors, swap donation and a mandatory inquiry by the registered medical practitioner of a hospital in consultation with transplant coordinator (if available) from the near relative(s) of potential donor admitted in Intensive Care Unit and informing them about the option to donate and if they consent to donate, inform the retrieval canter for retrieval of organs. According to Pallavi Kumar, executive director at the Mohan Foundation, a non-government organization focusing on organ donation, the lack of donors is complicated by the problem of certifying brain death in India.

Kumar stated, ack of awareness and improper infrastructure facilities are the main reasons behind the existing scenario. Finding a donor is the main issue in the country. Also, there is a problem of certifying brain deaths in our country. If people are not aware of brain deaths, it becomes difficult to convince the relatives of the patients for organ donation. Centralized registry helps in maintaining a data base of the organs and it is an organized way of sharing the organs in a transparent way. This registry is available in other countries which make the donation system easy unlike India, Kumar at the Mohan Foundation, stated. Patients in India requiring heart transplants face the same problems of a shortage of willing donors. Every year in India, between 4000- to- 5000 patients require a heart transplant to stay alive. In 2011, only 70 heart transplants were conducted in India.

The Zee News report advised, According to the National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB) 2012-13 report, India abysmally lacks corneas required for eye transplantations. In 2012-13, the country collected only 4,417 corneas against a whopping requirement of 80,000-1, 00,000 per year.Rajiv Pradhan, head of the Tej Kohli Foundation, a non government organization working to promote eye donation in India, earlier told to Zee News on October 8, 2012, Once a person dies, there is a lot of hesitation from the relatives as the general view stands that if the corneas gets extracted and is transplanted it would lead to deformities.Kumar at the Mohan Foundation advises,There is a need to have more transplant coordinators who will help in counseling to manage the system of organ donation. More donations should happen in the public set-up.

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