World Heart Day: Doctors urge people to donate organs, highlight shortage

As per National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation, five lakh people in India need organ donation every year, which is why, there is an urgent need to increase organ donation within the country to save as many lives as possible

Press Trust of India September 29, 2022 19:05:14 IST
World Heart Day: Doctors urge people to donate organs, highlight shortage

Representational image. News18

New Delhi: Almost five lakh Indians face organ failure every year with only 2-3 per cent receiving life-saving transplant, according to data shared during a programme hosted in Delhi to raise awareness on organ donation.

At the event hosted on the occasion of World Heart Day by a leading private hospital in association with National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) and another association, doctors urged people to pledge their organs for donation.

“It is extremely unfortunate that 17 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant in our country. Unfortunately, the organ donation rate in India is very low (0.26 per million population) as compared to many other countries, despite a sound regulatory and streamlined legal framework,” Dr Rajneesh Sahai, Director, NOTTO, was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the hospital.

As per NOTTO, five lakh people in India need organ donation every year, which is why, there is an urgent need to increase organ donation within the country to save as many lives as possible, he said.

“It is estimated that almost five lakh Indians face organ failure every year and only 2-3 per cent receive a life-saving transplant,” Fortis Escorts Heart Institute (FEHI) said in the statement.

As per data by NOTTO, in 2022, eleven cadaver donations have taken place with successful retrieval of 30 organs in Delhi, it added.

Indian Association of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery (IACTS) was also a partner in the programme that was held to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation and the urgent need to increase the number of organ donors in India to save lives.

“A heart transplant can only happen when a healthy heart is available from a donor. Nowadays, heart failure is very common among Indians and there are approximately one million cases of heart failure annually.

“A large number of patients are admitted with advanced heart failure, but very few are able to get a heart transplant due to the limited number of organ donors. Thus, it is crucial to spread awareness about the importance of organ donation, so that more and more people are encouraged to pledge their organs,” said Dr Z S Meharwal, executive director and head, adult cardiac surgery, heart transplant and VAD programme at FEHI.

Every year, people die in India, waiting for an organ transplant. Due to lack of awareness and misconceptions, there is a “shortage of organ donors”, and with each passing year, the gap between the number of organs donated and the people waiting for transplant, is “growing wider,” the statement said.

“Timely cadaveric organ donation can save many lives and more people would come forth and pledge their organs if they receive more information and are educated on the benefits of organ donation,” it added.

Dr Milind Hotte, professor of cardiac surgery and transplant surgeon, AIIMS, Delhi and many other cardiac specialists from Delhi and neighbouring cities, along with other NOTTO representatives and a few organ donation beneficiaries also attended the event, the statement said.

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