Health ministry celebrates National Organ Donation Day

With 12,666 organs transplanted in 2019, India ranked third in the world as per data available on the WHO Global Observatory on Donation and Transplantation (GODT) website

The Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan at the 11th National Organ Donation Day Celebrations, organised by the National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO), in New Delhi on November 27, 2020 The Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Ashwini Kumar Choubey and other dignitaries are also seen.
New Delhi: Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare on 27th November 2020 chaired multiple events to mark National Organ Donation Day.
Dr Harsh Vardhan addressed CRPF jawans on an event to mark the culmination of a massive voluntary campaign that was launched by CRPF on 14th August this year to bring awareness about organ donation among its nearly three and a half lakh jawans in collaboration with All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi and Organ Retrieval Banking Organization (ORBO).
Expressing his elation that the positive message of the drive organized by CRPF will trickle down till the last jawan, he had noted that 79,572  soldiers, who have been conferred by CRPF as ‘Angadan warriors’, have duly filled their pledge forms to donate their eyes, skin, lungs, heart, liver, pancreas, kidneys, heart valves and intestines after death. “They exemplify the spirit of service to the nation even after death”, he added.
Dr Harsh Vardhan in this context continued, “In our country, a large number of people die due to non-functioning of organs. According to the National Health Portal, about 5 lakh people die every year due to non-availability of organs. I also want to say here that no age, caste, religion, community, belief should ever come as an obstacle in a task as divine as that of donating organs. If a person below 18 years of age wishes to donate organ, he can do so with the consent of his parents or guardian. The goal of this campaign is to remove the fear of organ donation by spreading awareness through webinars, seminars and workshops and aiming at the root of the problem by granting acceptance to organ donation.”
Dr A.P. Maheshwari, Director General CRPF, Dr. Randeep Singh Guleria, Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi, Dr. (Prof.) Aarti Vij, Chief, Organ Retrieval Banking Organization (ORBO) attended the CRPF event through Video Conference.  Sh. Bharat Bhushan Vaid, DIG CRPF was also present at the event.
Later in the day, The National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO), mandated under the Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act 2011 to carry out activities for the promotion of organ donation from deceased persons, putting systems in place for organ donation and transplantation and training the necessary manpower and personnel celebrated the 11th National Organ Donation Day in the presence of Mr Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan expressing his happiness said, “With 12,666 organs transplanted in 2019, India ranked third in the world as per data available on the WHO Global Observatory on Donation and Transplantation (GODT) website. This exemplary performance by states and healthcare professionals in our country should be encouraged at every step so that the curve keeps following an upward trend.” He mentioned that the National Organ Transplant Programme (NOTP) provides financial grants for establishing ROTTOs and SOTTOs, to develop new and upgrade existing retrieval and transplant centres, to set up regional and State biomaterial centres and to provide immunosuppressive therapy to Below Poverty Line (BPL) patients who have undergone organ transplantation in a Government hospital. Further, financial support is also provided for the hiring of transplant coordinators by hospitals and for maintenance of brainstem dead donors, when at least one organ is shared with a Government hospital.
Stating the COVID-19 pandemic has had a hugely negative impact on the deceased donor programme in India he said, “National events such as the Indian Organ Donation Day where we recognize the selfless contribution made by deceased donors to healthcare and mankind re-instill our faith in humanity.” As a gesture of gratitude, the Minister read out the names of donors from every State of the country whose death rekindled the lives of others.
Mr Ashwini Kumar Choubey noted that Upanishads remark that body belongs to the five elements to which it returns upon death and said, “Associating oneself with one’s mortal body is disillusionment in Hindu scriptures. Everybody should donate their body for a nobler cause like Rishi Dadhichi.” He also exhorted putting in place a National digital portal for better co-ordination in organ retrieval and transplantation and better reporting of related figures.
ROTTO (West) was judged the best ROTTO in the country while the Tamil Nadu SOTTO was awarded the best State SOTTO. Tamil Nadu performed a whooping 295 transplantations out of which 76 were lung transplants performed mostly on patients who suffered acute forms of COVID. PGIMER, Chandigarh was judged the best hospital.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan led everyone in taking the solemn pledge of organ donation at the end of the event.