State government has to streamline kidney donation procedures
Conservatively put, on any given day, there are over 1,000 patients in the capital who are in the waiting list and need immediate kidney transplantation for survival. The average waiting period to get a kidney from a donor for transplantation in our State is over one year. Of the 1,000 patients, roughly 50 patients get kidneys for transplantation while the rest simply die.
There is more! Every year, close to 1.5 lakh new patients suffering from Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD) are added to the transplantation waiting pool. Out of sheer desperation to save lives of the near and dear ones, relatives of kidney patients become anxious. This makes them gullible leading to exploitation by brokers as was the case in the recent kidney racket bust, in which a Gandhi Hospital doctor was also allegedly involved.
“It's difficult for parents to watch children die because of no organs. Out of desperation, they fall prey to false promises of brokers, who exploit them to the hilt. This is a recurrent theme in our State because we don't have a system in place to help desperate patients,” says Lalitha Raghuram of Mohan Foundation.
So what is wrong with the existing rules of organ transplantation? The Human Organs Transplantation Act, 1994 and Andhra Pradesh Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1995 were meant to promote and regulate both live and cadaver organ transplantation.
“From the beginning, organ donation by a close living relative like mother, father or a sister was encouraged in our State creating a situation in which the demand was more than the supply. This encouraged the corrupt to exploit loopholes. There is a need to promote cadaver transplantation in a big way to reduce the waiting list of patients,” feels senior Nephrologist, Dr. Pradeeep Deshpande.
The State Government had released a Government Order (G.O no-184, dt: August 16, 2010) announcing Jeevandaan project to streamline procedures in cadaver organ donation. Since then, however, the Jevandaan has never really taken off.
“There is a bad perception among the public about brain death condition. Like in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, where cadaver transplantation is thriving, we have to launch an awareness drive. Deceased donor transplantation also raises some prickly questions that have to be addressed,” points out Dr. Deshpande.
The senior doctor was referring to a situation wherein organs are collected from the deceased in Government hospitals and sent to private hospitals for transplantation. Then, there is also a question of who will get the organ for transplantation? “All hospitals should have to participate in this programme. And for that to happen, lot of ground work has to be done,” he added.
Under the Jeevandaan project, a post of Chief Transplant Coordinator will oversee the entire project in the State.
The project also envisages recruiting grief counsellors at registered hospitals, a central registry to maintain database of availability of organs, donors and recipients.
Keywords: transplant patients