Organ transplant body writes to States, calls for strict action to prevent trafficking

The action comes after the body found private websites and social media posts promoting and offering organs for trade, which is a punishable crime

Published - June 29, 2023 03:53 am IST - NEW DELHI: 

Photo: Twitter/@NottoIndia

Photo: Twitter/@NottoIndia

The National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) has issued a warning after it found private websites and social media posts promoting and offering organs for trade.

The NOTTO has written to Principal Secretary (health), States and Union Territories across India seeking strict monitoring and urging that steps be put in place to prevent organ trafficking.

In its communication this week, the organisation said that certain websites and social media posts are promoting and offering organ trading which is in violation of the provisions of Transplantation of Human Organ and Tissue Act (THOTA), 1994 and Rules. 

“Such activities are punishable offence under section-18 of THOTA 1994, with fines ranging from ₹20 lakh to ₹1 crore and imprisonment ranging from five to 10 years,’‘ it said.

Health, Law and Order are State subjects and THOTA provides for State Appropriate Authority to be appointed to deal with such illegal/commercial activities/organ trafficking.

“Keeping in view of the gravity of the matter, you are requested to take necessary steps for prevention and control of organ trafficking and putting in place a system to monitor the same,’‘ the NOTTO said.

The NOTTO is mandated to establish a network for organ procurement and distribution and to maintain a national registry for the purpose of surveillance of organ donation and transplantation in the country. 

Resurgence in transplant activities

Meanwhile, earlier the Health Ministry noted that there has been a fast resurgence in the transplant activities post COVID-19 pandemic and for the first time the country has achieved more than 15,000 transplants in a year (2022). Along with this, there was an annual increase of 27% in transplant numbers. 

India has also updated its organ donation and transplant guidelines where domicile requirement has been done away with. It has also maintained that with India’s growing geriatric population it is critically important to update communication and awareness strategy, so that potential organ donors come forward. 

The Ministry said that despite India having 640 plus medical hospitals and colleges, transplants remain a specialised service limited to some hospitals only.

“There is a need to expand the number of institutions where surgeries and transplants are undertaken. Thus, to increase surgeries/transplants in the country, along with sensitisation and training for healthcare professionals, our physical infrastructure must be optimally utilised. There is also a need to identify high case load institutions and bring them under the network NOTT program,’‘ the Ministry had noted. 

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.