In order to clarify the myths related to organ donation and how organ transplant can help the needy, a workshop on ‘Importance of Organ Donation’ was held at IIM Indore on July 24, 2017. The workshop was organized by a team of doctors from Choithram Hospital and Research Centre along with support from Indore Society of Organ Donation. Dr. Ajay Kumar Jain, Head, Department of Gastroenterology and Liver Transplantation and Director, Choithram Hospital and Research Centre, Indore was the speaker for the workshop.
Dr. Jain began his talk discussing about what organ donation is and how important it is in the current scenario. He noted that the number of patients waiting for the corneal transplant today is 10 Lakhs. Similarly there are patients awaiting kidney transplant (2.2 L), liver transplant (1.0 L), heart transplant (0.5 L) and lung transplant (0.2 L). Discussing about the history of organ transplant, Dr. Jain noted that the first corneal transplant took place years ago in 1905 by Eduard Zirm, Ophthalmologist in Austria. Yet today in 2017, we have 10 lakh blind people awaiting corneal transplant due to lack of awareness and knowledge. ‘Around 6000 people die every day in India waiting for an organ transplant, i.e. every 17 minutes, someone is dying due to lack of availability of organs. Similarly, every 13 minutes, someone is added to the waiting list of organ transplant. The current organ donation rate in India is 0.05 per million population per year. If in India, the donation rate rises to 1 per million, we would have 1100 organ donors—i.e. 2200 kidneys, 1000 hearts, 1100 livers and 2200 eyes’, Dr. Jain elaborated.
Dr. Jain then clarified the difference between live transplant and cadaver transplant and noted that in live donation, blood, and a part of kidney or liver can be transplanted. He said that cadaver transplant depends on somatic death and brain death conditions—which decides which organs can be transplanted. ‘If a person donates his body, 10-15 medical students benefit. However if a person decides to donate organs, at-least 50 people may be benefited’, Dr. Jain said.
He noted that Indore has also contributed recognizably to organ transplant. There have been 11 heart transplants from Indore, 20 liver transplants, 38 kidney transplants and more than 100 corneal and skin transplants where Indore played a major role.
He concluded his talk noting that organ shortage is a crisis, however the crisis has a cure. ‘We need to network and start thinking of sharing resources, expertise and organs; sharing collaborative projects, have transparency in programme and set up regional transplant coordinator forums’, he concluded.
The workshop was followed by a Q&A.