Most physicians know, transplants just don’t begin or end with one person’s death. A whole mechanism has to come into play – to confirm that the dead person’s organ is healthy, that his or her family is willing to donate, that the grieving family’s religious and spiritual needs are met, that trained professionals offer grief counseling and information about organ donation in a non-judgmental way, that a patient waiting for an organ on a list is notified timely, that doctors are prepared to walk into the operating room at any time day or night when such an event occurs, that this altruistic process is not corrupted by money or favoritism, that the public is sensitized to the true nature of this process, that this process perpetuates and spreads through society and that awareness amongst the general public reaches a level of acceptance that a majority come forward to donate their organs after death.
Every year thousands of patients in India die without an organ transplant. Others either slowly wither away under the weight of their disease while waiting, or sometimes turn to organ traffickers to buy organs from the poor who have been tricked into “donating” their kidneys. These donations are done under the table, in terrible hospitals, with bad hygiene and sanitary conditions leading to poor outcomes for both donor and recipient. It is a terrible situation with a great need that goes unmet because of the lack of organization critical to run an organ donation program.
And yet, the solution is right under our noses! Statistics show that in the West, almost 37,500 organs are transplanted annually from cadaver donors where donation rates are about 25-35 per million people. In India we are able to retrieve organs from only about 70- 100 donors annually because our donation rate is 0.08 per million. If we are able to increase our donation rate to 2-3 per million, it can take care of ALL the current needs for organs in India!
But India doesn’t have its UNOS.
MOHAN (Multi Organ Harvesting Aid Network) Foundation is a not for profit organization that leads this mission to facilitate deceased organ donation in India. Since the inception in 1997, MOHAN have facilitated the donation of over 2000 organs and tissues. The core objectives are to create awareness about organ donation, to counsel the families of “brain dead” victims about donating their loved ones’ organs, to train transplant coordinators on the nuances of counseling, to coordinate organ donations with hospitals and patients, to lobby with government to pass appropriate legislation that will promote organ donation and to ensure that all this is done in an ethical and transparent manner.
Mohan will have a booth this year at ASN 2011.
Learn about the UNOS like foundation of India- MOHAN
To be part of this or see what is going on visit www.mohanfoundation.org
Dr. Anirban Bose