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Deceased Organ Donation in Delhi: Making it happen!
The National Capital Region (NCR), which includes New Delhi, despite being the most populous urban agglomeration in India, has remained far behind when it comes to organ donation. In March 2011, when the Foundation started work on this rather sensitive issue, the lack of awareness amongst the general masses came as a surprise. While a few hospitals, like AIIMS, Indraprastha Apollo and Sir Gangaram, had set up deceased organ donation programmes, results were far from satisfactory. Organ Retrieval Banking Organisation, ORBO (located in AIIMS) saw an initial spurt of deceased donation in 1995-97 but this did not sustain. AORTA (Armed Forces Organ Retrieval & Transplant Authority) to some extent has kept the deceased donation flame burning by having 42 deceased donors over the last ten years. It must be mentioned that these programmes were largely hospital-centric and little was done by way of outreach and creation of public awareness.
A perceptible change, however, is now being noticed. Little did we know that we would begin to see a shift in attitudes of people towards organ donation in a land where few had heard of it, and even fewer had thought about it.
The Foundation's first experience with organ donation was with a Jain family, who, like other members of their community, had been firm believers in the tradition of eye-donation. On explaining the possibility of donating other organs in the case of their 65-year-old brain-dead mother, the sons and their wives willingly agreed to do so. Another family who had a medical background, were aware of the possibility of deceased organ donation, but were unsure of what it entailed. Our counselling efforts reassured them with regard to the process and thus another altruistic donation took place at one of our partner hospitals. Both the families spoke about organ donation at the prayer meetings held for their departed family members.
What is leading to this change? We have begunour journey with persistent efforts at raising awareness in the city, by talking to people from all possible walks of life. So far we have reached out to over 10,000 people from corporate groups, educational institutions, churches, other NGOs through different platforms like health fairs, annual festivals, street plays, poster competition, awareness sessions etc. Needless to say the local media has also lent a helping hand in spreading the word by covering our activities and achievements.
Forging partnerships with two major hospitals in the region, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and Medanta – The Medicity, educating their staff on this issue and counselling families of brain dead individuals is an inseparable part of our progress here. The Foundation has been able to facilitate four multiorgan donations in the last year – two in each of the hospitalsOther hospitals like B L Kapoor Memorial Hospita have initiated the programme and were able to facilitate two donations this year. FORTIS too has embarked upon setting up a well defined deceased donor program. Samarthan, an event held by MOHAN Foundation in April 2012 saw the coming together of leading medical practitioners from private hospitals across Delhi-NCR in support of organ donation. The honourable Chief Minister of Delhi also graced the event, boosting the media coverage it received.
Chief Minister of Delhi Smt.Sheila Dixit signing the Pledge Board
As we move ahead on this journey with cautious optimism, the MOHAN Foundation team is aiming at changing attitudes and facilitating many more donations in time to come.
-Ms. Pallavi Kumar, Regional Director, MOHAN Foundation – Delhi -NCR
- Shroff S, Navin S. Deceased Organ Donation in Delhi: Making it happen!. Indian Transplant Newsletter Vol. 10 Issue NO.: 36 (Jul 2012 - Oct 2012)
- Shroff S, Navin S. Deceased Organ Donation in Delhi: Making it happen!. Indian Transplant Newsletter Vol. 10 Issue NO.: 36 (Jul 2012 - Oct 2012). Available at:
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- Keywords: Deceased Donation, Delhi