Fortis Healthcare Limited dedicated a ‘Wall of Tribute’ at Fortis Hospital in Mohali to donors and their families who helped save several lives. The initiative is supported by the Fortis Organ Retrieval and Transplant (FORT). The event was flagged off by Mr. Anil Joshi, Minister for Medical Education and Research, Government of Punjab, Mr. Ashish Bhatia, COO, Region North & East, Fortis Healthcare and Dr. Avnish Seth, Director, Fortis Organ Retrieval and Transplant and Dr. Priyadarshi Ranjan, Kidney Transplant Surgeon, Fortis Hospital Mohali.
Fortis believes in the cause of organ donation. The ‘Wall of Tribute’ is an acknowledgment to the magnanimous souls who donated their organs that saved many lives. The wall mentions the name of the donors along with the dates when their organs were donated. This is first of its kind initiative aim to promote organ donation in the country. The donation rate in India was only 0.5 donors per million in 2015. This is far lesser than 30 donors per million in many western countries. However, it is reported that since 2012, the rate of organ donation has improved. The rate is better among southern Indian states as against north Indian states. There is a clear need to create more awareness among people. The ‘Wall’ is erected to generate positive perception towards organ donation.
Mr. Bhavdeep Singh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Fortis Healthcare Limited said, “This initiative is our humble tribute to the deceased as well as their families who have been so noble as to save the lives of strangers. There is a wide chasm between the increasing demand of organs for people at end stages and the paucity of the same. Adding to the complexity is the lack of awareness, simultaneously surrounded by superstitions which present themselves as the key obstacles. Donating organs is a humanitarian cause that will gain momentum with increasing awareness in society. At Fortis, we will continue to contribute as much as we can by educating people and saving more and more lives. We hope this ‘Wall of Tribute’ inspires all, and reminds us that each one of us has more to give.”
While speaking on the occasion, Mr. Anil Joshi, Minister for Medical Education and Research, Government of Punjab said. "This initiative by Fortis Healthcare Limited is the right step towards spreading awareness on organ donation. The gratitude of these donors cannot be summed in words but such gestures will inspire people to the cause of donation. It is imperative that we continue to do similar events to honour those who donated organs to save lives of others. Government of Punjab, as a special endeavour to promote cadaveric organ transplant, has passed a special legislative bill which has been adopted by the department and formal notifications have been issued vis-a-vis Human Organ Transplant Act of 2014, which is now applicable in the state of Punjab.’’
Chandigarh has one of the best organ donation ratio in the country today. With 39 donations & an impressive Organ donation rate of 37 per million in 2015, it has the potential to act as a catalyst to improve organ donation in the region.
Mr. Ashish Bhatia, Chief Operating Officer (North & East), Fortis Healthcare Limited said, “Chandigarh has a good record of organ donation in the region. We, at Fortis Hospital, Mohali, are humbled by the donations made to save so many lives. The Wall is only a step towards increasing awareness. We hope that it clears myths and cobwebs that shroud organ donation. Our hospital will continue to complement in the larger effort towards creating awareness among public regarding benefits of organ donations & saving more lives.”
In order to increase awareness on organ donation, steps like inclusion of the topic in school, college and MBBS curriculums, and sustained media campaign, involvement of spiritual leaders and inclusion of best practices in organ donation in the accreditation process for hospitals have been suggested at the national level. The Transplantation of Human Organs Act Amendment 2011 and Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules 2014 should be adopted by all states at the earliest. Other actions suggested at the state level include publication of relevant Government Orders to streamline the process of organ donation, availability of organ-pledging facility at the time of making driving license and computerized registry for potential organ recipients. Recommendations at city level include launching awareness drives, sensitization of police for quick clearance in medico-legal donations and establishment of green corridors for rapid transportation of organs. Hospitals should ensure that ‘Declare All, Approach All’ policy is followed for patients with brain death and donor maintenance protocols are implemented by critical care teams.
Dr. Avnish Seth, Director, FORT, – Fortis Organ Retrieval and Transplant said, “The organ donation rate in the country has increased 10-fold over the last 5 years from 0.05 per million population to 0.5 per million. People from all walks of life are increasingly saying yes to donation and we are truly humbled by their kind gesture every time. The country needs to take up organ donation as a priority and we in the medical community have to take the lead. Brain deaths occur in up to 30 percent patients who die of head injury or stroke, but go unrecognized or unreported. Those of us who have tried sincerely for organ donation by introducing Standard Operating Procedures, increasing awareness amongst hospital staff and training transplant coordinators have found an acceptance rate amongst families of over 40%, provided the family is happy with the quality of medical care provided to their loved one. We hope that this initiative helps us bridge the wide gap between demand and supply of organs.”
Dr. Priyadarshi Ranjan, Kidney Transplant Surgeon, Fortis Hospital Mohali, said on the occasion, “We, as society as whole, need to be proactive. There is a need to increase cadaver transplant centres in North India. In Pubjab, we have only 7 such centres that are far than adequate at a time when none of the neighbouring states have any such centres.”
The demand for organ transplant has increases substantially in the recent past. This is largely due to improvement in post-transplant outcome in the medical science. It is now an effective method to cure many terminally ill patients. However, the rate of organ donation has remained a bone of contention that has failed to match huge demand from patients waiting for an organ transplant. In India, less than 15,000 kidney transplants are carried out annually against an estimated requirement of over 2, 20,000. Similarly, only 2000 liver transplants are performed every year in a country where over 1, 00,000 perish due to end-stage liver disease, mostly related to preventable causes such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C. The annual requirement of hearts is estimated to be around 50,000 and lungs about 20,000.
Among others present on the occasion were, Dr Yogesh Chawla, Director, PGIMER, Chandigarh, Prof AK Gupta, MS PGI, DS Mangat, DC, SAS Nagar, Gurpreet Singh Bhullar IPS, SSP, SAS Nagar, Harbir Atwal, SP Traffic, Mohali, Mr Tejinder Singh Luthra IPS, IGP, UT Chandigarh, Dr Sukhchain Singh Gill, IPS, SSP (Traffic), UT, Chandigarh, Dr Manjit Kaur Mohi, Director, Medical Education & Research, Govt of Punjab, Mr Vikas Pratap Singh, IAS, Secretary Medical Education & Research, Govt of Punjab, and Sudhir Dewan, Director, Mohan Foundation.
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