Bengaluru: Only 0.5 organ donors per million population! Lack of organs kill many
Bengaluru: Suresh and Shilpa from the city were delighted when they had their first child. However their joy was short lived when doctors told them that the child needed to be operated for liver failure.
The child was continuously suffering from jaundice after birth and was operated upon in the second month itself. However, during the sixth month, the doctors informed the parents that the child has to undergo liver transplant.
“We were in a state of shock and clueless about what to do next,” said Shilpa. The couple, who reside in Electronics City and hail from Shivamogga, was left with no choice, nor were they financially strong to get their child operated. Doctors from Narayana Health and few NGOs came to their rescue and ensured financial support. But the struggle was far from over. They found no donors and as the deadline was approaching, Shilpa could think of only one option donate her own liver. Finally, both the mother and child were operated.
Shilpa also added that it’s been one-and-half-year since they were operated and with the support of doctors they both were doing fine.
Ahead of World Organ Donation Day, which falls on August 13 every year, a team of doctors comprising liver, heart, BMT (bone marrow transplant) and renal transplant departments from Narayana Health came together to spread awareness on the importance of organ donation and transplants.
In our country, the current organ donation rate is 0.5 donors per million population, as compared to more than 30 donors per million in some western countries.
There is a serious shortage of organs and the gap between the number of organs donated and the number of people awaiting transplant continues to rise. Close to half a million Indians die because they fail to get organs on time.
Dr Sanjay Rao, Senior Consultant - Paediatric Survey (Liver Transplant) said, “Cadaveric donations are very few in our country and in case of liver transplant the best solution is approaching an immediate family member. The complex issue with liver transplant is to cut down to a particular size and shape.” Platinum cards will be distributed on account of organ donation day to all the patients who have undergone transplant, to avail the discounts on their medicines.
Dr Nagamalesh U.M., Senior Consultant, Heart Failure and Transplant, Ramaiah Narayana Heart Centre said, “India suffers from acute organ shortage with little or no solution for this issue. It is estimated that every year 1.5 lakh people suffer from renal failure, out of which only 3,000 get donors. Around 2 lakh people die of liver failure and 5 million are suffering from heart failure.”
Doctors also stressed that lack of knowledge and awareness is the reason for organ shortage and highlighted how donation will help to change one’s life and save several lives.