“When seen from the perspective of reason and rationale, the gift of life is the ultimate gift that one could give and organ donation is, therefore, a ‘God like act’ and needs to be encouraged.” This was stated by Smt. Anupriya Patel, Minister of State (HFW) on the occasion of ‘8th Indian Organ Donation Day’, organised by the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO), here today. Urging all to come forward and donate their organs, Smt. Anupriya Patel said that apart from promoting organ donation, it is important to improve infrastructure and capacity of Government Hospitals for undertaking transplantation so that even those who cannot afford transplantation may also benefit. Smt. Anupriya Patel also administered the pledge to the participants to donate organs. Dr. C. Vijaya Baskar, Minister of Health, Government of Tamil Nadu was also present at the function. Speaking at the function, Smt Anupriya Patel stated that it is important to understand that in India it is mainly the living donors who are donating organs and only about 23% of the organ transplant is being done with organs obtained from the cadavers. “There is a need to promote cadaver or deceased organ donation rather than relying on living donors in order to avoid the risk of commercial trading of organs and also to avoid the inherent risk to the health of the living donor, Smt Anupriya Patel added.
Dr. C. Vijaya Baskar, Minister of Health, Government of Tamil Nadu, expressed happiness at the announcement of Tamil Nadu being adjudged the Best State in Organ Donation for the third time in a row. He highlighted the exemplary work that Tamil Nadu had done by retrieving 5933 organs from 1056 donors; and had been the first state in India for various initiatives like mandatory certification of Brain Stem Death, streamlining organ distribution and setting up green corridors. He informed the participants that Tamil Nadu is also supplying free immunosuppressant drugs and is providing sanctions of upto Rs. 35 Lakh under the Chief Minister Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme for facilitating organ transplants in the private sector. Smt Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health), applauded Shri K. K. Sharma, Director General, BSF, for his efforts towards motivating 70,000 personnel to pledge their organs, and also congratulated the state of Tamil Nadu for leading the nation in the field of organ donation. She urged the religious leaders and youth to take forward the movement of organ donation and highlighted the importance of ownership at the highest level, and connectivity at the lowest level to build up a successful and transparent organ donation program in the country. She not only pledged her organs, but also reaffirmed her commitment towards the cause.
At the event, Smt. Anupriya Patel felicitated Shri K.K. Sharma, DG, BSF, and the families of deceased organ donors from various parts of the country. The best performing states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Telangana also received awards whereas JIPMER, Puducherry was announced as the Best Budding performer in Organ Donation and Transplantation. Yashoda Hospital, Telangana, PGI, Chandigarh and Sahidri Speciality Hospital, Pune were declared as the top three Best Hospitals in the country for their contribution. Transplant co-ordinators, Dr. Patricia Namitha Maria Viego, Karnataka; Dr. P. Periyanayagam, TN; Ms. Sangeeta Sherawat from Safdarjung Hospital and Mr Balram from AIIMS bagged the prizes for best transplant co-ordinators. Non-government organisations like the Mohan Foundation, Organ India, NSS, and Kidney Foundation of India were also felicitated for their efforts. Also present at the event were Dr. Jagdish Prasad, Director General Health Services, Dr. R.K. Vats, Addl. Secretary, Health Dr Sudhir Kumar, Joint Secretary, MoHFW, Shri K. K. Sharma, Director General BSF, Dr. Vimal Bhandari, Director, NOTTO and senior officers from BSF, CRPF and the students and representatives of various development organizations.