“There cannot be a greater service to humanity than giving life to another person”. This was stated by Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare during his address at the 13th Indian Organ Donation Day (IODD) ceremony, here today. Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar and Prof S P Singh Baghel, Union Ministers of State for Health and Family Welfare and Shri Ma Subramanian, Minister of Health, Tamil Nadu were also present. The 13th IODD ceremony was held to felicitate deceased donor families for their brave decision of donating organs of their loved ones, to spread awareness on deceased organ donation and to recognize the contribution of medical professionals working in the field of organ donation and transplantation by awarding them.
Addressing the gathering, Dr Mandaviya stated that it is important to recognize and appreciate the contribution of all the people who have been a part of this endeavour. The Union Minister highlighted that “in 2013, around 5000 people came forward to donate their organs. Now there are over 15,000 organ donors annually”.
The Union Minister informed that the Union Govt has taken several steps towards increasing organ donations in the country. He said that leave duration for organ donors have been increased from 30 days to 60 days, age limitations of 65 years have been removed and the process of organ donation has been further streamlined. He further stated that the Govt is committed to bring in more policies and reforms to popularise organ donation in the country.
Appreciating the contribution of organ donors, their family members and members from the civil society, Dr Mandaviya applauded their motivation and dedication. In this context, the Minister also urged the organ recipients to promote this noble service and encourage others to also donate their organs for the service of mankind.
An e-News Letter of National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO); Transplant Manual and National Curriculum for Transplant Coordinator Course were released on the occasion. During the event, ‘Make in India’ Products like Novel Hemophilia A Rapid Card Test and Von Willebrand Disease Rapid Card Test’ of ICMR and an eCARe portal (e-clearance of afterlife remains) of International Health division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare were also launched by the Union Health Minister.
eCARe Portal: When a person passes away in other country, it leads to lot of paperwork and processes to bring the mortal remains of the deceased back to India which leaves the family and friends in dismay. Understanding the sensitivity of this issue and following the principle of minimum government and maximum governance, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India launched the eCARe (e-clearance of afterlife remains) portal to streamline and expedite the process of transporting human remains to India from different countries.
Haemophilia A and von Willebrand Disease Diagnostic Kits: Haemophilia A and von Willebrand Disease are the two most common lifelong inherited bleeding disorders. The common clinical manifestations include bleeding into the joints causing swelling and pain, bleeding into the skin (bruising) or muscle and soft tissue bleeding. ICMR-National Institute of Immunohematology (ICMR-NIIH), Mumbai has developed for the first time in the world; a Kit for diagnosis of Haemophilia A and von Willebrand Disease. The present kit is likely to change the diagnostic landscape of bleeding disorders not only in our country but in several other developing countries where diagnostic facilities are either lacking or not up to the acceptable standards.
The Union Health Minister also felicitated donor families, transplant professionals, transplant coordinators, athletes of World Transplant Games and teams from MyGov, MoCA (Ministry of Civil Aviation), Delhi Police and Indigo Airlines during the occasion.
Indian Organ Donation Day (IODD) is observed annually since 2010, to augment awareness about brain stem death and organ donation, dispel myths and misconceptions associated with organ donation and motivate and encourage the citizens of the country to donate organs and tissues after death, as well as to imbibe the values of organ donation in their lives. To reduce the demand for organ transplantation campaign activities also promote healthy lifestyles & wellness.
This year as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, an awareness campaign for organ donation “Angdaan Mahotsav” has been kick-started. Angdaan Mahotsav is being observed all over the country reaching from city to village level with involvement of Central Government Ministries, State/UT Government/Hospitals/Institutions and medical Colleges, NGOs and other stakeholders. As part of the campaign, the month of July 2023 was observed as the Organ Donation month. Various activities towards promotion of organ and tissue donation namely National Webinar, Cyclothon, Walkathon, Organ donation pledging and National Slogan competition through Government of India’s digital platform, MyGov have been initiated.
Every donated organ is precious, lifesaving and a national resource. A person after his death can give new life to up to 8 people by donating vital organs namely Kidney, Liver, Lung, Heart, Pancreas and Intestine and improve quality life of many more by donating tissues like cornea, skin, bone and heart valve etc. The 13th IODD is an opportunity to motivate people to donate organs in order to bridge the existing gap between the number of people in need of organs for transplant and the number of donors. People are encouraged to come forward to pledge for a noble cause and contribute in this national endeavour. For any information on organ donation and transplantation one can visit the website of NOTTO www.notto.mohfw.gov.in or call tollfree helpline number 180114770. Online pladging facility is available at aforesaid NOTTO website and also at https://pledge.mygov.in/organ-donation/.
The event was also attended by Dr Atul Goel, Director General of Health Services, Dr Anil Kumar, Director, NOTTO, donor families, organ recipients, students as well as senior officials from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.