Setting an example for other states, Odisha has established 13 organ harvesting centres in a bid to boost the noble initiative for organ donation.
The organ harvesting centres in Odisha have been set up in 13 hospitals recognised by the state government. The purpose is to procure organs and tissues from living donors who have lost brain function and whose relatives consent to their organs being used.
“This was the last of the series of steps needed to harvest organs from brain dead persons as per the provisions of the Transplant of Human Organs Act, 1994,” a report in Health Issues India quoted a government official as saying.
The establishment of the organ harvesting centres was announced in a notification by the state directorate of medical education and training.
According to the notification, seven of the 13 hospitals will conduct kidney and eye transplants; the remaining eight will only conduct eye transplants. The Odisha office of SOTTO (State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation) will oversee the centres as well as coordinate with the Regional Organ and Transplant Organisation to facilitate procurement and transplants of other organs.
Notably, an estimated one million people in India experience end-stage organ failure, but just 3,500 to 5,000 transplants are conducted each year. Such is the dearth of organ donors in the country that a black market thrives across India.
“India has a dismal 0.65 per million population (PMP) organ donation rate and we need to improve this,” Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had said earlier this year.
“We need to create and enhance awareness about organ donation on a monumental scale so that it becomes a ‘Jan Andolan’ and people voluntarily pledge to donate their organs,” he added.