Has the Deceased Donation Programme Slowed Down in India
The current data coming from many states in India indicate that the deceased donation programme has slowed down lately. The year 2017 was a good year for the programme but this has not been so for the last two years. The deceased donation rate was consistently rising from 2012 to 2017 and went up over four times, but after this it has not seen any rise. In any case only 13 of the 36 States and Union Territories were contributing to deceased donation transplantation in India and in the last three years no new state or Union Territory has been added to the list of contributors. The whole of Eastern India, except for a few deceased donations in Kolkata, has not seen any donations happen.
It is noticeable that Tamil Nadu the leader state in the programme also has plateaued over the last few years. The reasons being given are - a few bad media reports about the programme creating a trust deficit, fall in the fatal road traffic accidents in Tamil Nadu, and some hospitals not being able to perform as well as previous years. The state of Kerala peaked in 2015, but fell after that. For the last three years it has been affected by many public litigations regarding brain deaths followed by knee-jerk reactions by the government in clamping down on the programme with some government orders without proper investigations and brain death audits.[3,4] However, in this downturn the only state that has shown a rise has been the state of Maharashtra. In this state there is a unique system with many independent organ donation bodies (Zonal Transplant Coordination Centres) working in around four cities that spearhead the programme and look after all the local logistics to make donations happen.
The need to review this slowdown is becoming increasingly urgent as the waiting lists have grown (Figure 1) and corrective measures are required to bring the programme back on track.
1. Shroff S. Twenty-five years of transplantation law in India – Progress and the way forward. Indian J Transplant 2019;13:151-3.
2. http://knos.org.in/yearlystatistics.aspx [Last accessed on 2019 October 25]
3.https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/Not-against-organ-donation-but-premature-brain-death-certification- doctor/article16458706.ece [Last accessed on 2019 October 25]
4. https://scroll.in/latest/874900/kerala-issues-standard-guidelines-for-declaring-patients-brain-dead [Last accessed on 2019 October 25]
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- Keywords: Waitlist, Knee-jerk reactions, Daunting, Clear-cut protocols, Corrective Measures, Public Litigations