Health Minister Dr Harsha Vardhan inaugurates FOGSI’s online organ donation pledge drive on Doctor’s Day

New Delhi: The Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) organised a special E-conclave for organ donation and announced an online organ donation pledge drive on Doctor’s day, 1st July. The conclave was inaugurated by Dr Harsh Vardhan, Hon. Health Minister, Government of India.

This initiative is aimed at boosting organ donation in the country by taking the process of organ donation online, so that more people to participate given the COVID lockdown. The drive has the full support of National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO), Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (ROTTO) and State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (SOTTO).

Bollywood couple Genelia Deshmukh and Riteish Deshmukh joined the econclaves and took a pledge to donate their organs.

Sharing his view on organ donation, Dr Harsh Vardhan added, ““The number of organ donations in India are far less than countries such as the UK, Australia and Spain. It’s just about 0.65 per million as compared to almost 35.1 in Spain.
Although there is already awareness, a lot needs to be done. Lakhs of people die in India due to organ scarcity. Almost 80,000 people die in road accidents and organ donation can save many precious lives.”
“Statistics tell us that if we pursue the course of organ donation in the right direction and with the perspective and spirit, there is no doubt that we can achieve great success. India needs to grow in the field of uterus transplant as well like the other organs.”

Dr Alpesh Gandhi, President FOGSI, under whose stewardship this program was organised shared, “ One donor can save up to 8 lives by organ donation and heal up to 70 people through tissue donation. Around 5,00,000 patients in India die every year waiting for a transplant. Roughly 200,000 people die of liver diseases and 2,00,000 patients await a kidney transplant however only 7500 of those are able to successfully receive it. 50,000 people suffer from heart diseases yet still only 350-500 transplants are conducted. Corneal blindness is one of the most important causes of blindness in India and this can be treated by corneal transplantation. However, 1,000,000lakh people suffering from the same await corneal transplantation.”

Riteish said, “In the whole pandemic time, everyone was in home quarantine except the doctors and other health professionals, who were out there fighting the virus. A BIG THANK YOU! Today on Doctor’s Day we pledge to donate our organs. I want to thank FOGSI for inspiring us. I believe that the greatest gift you can give someone is ‘The gift of life’. Unfortunately it didn’t work out for my father but I hope it does for someone else’s family member. Your loved one could still survive through many other people by organ donation.”

Genelia added, “We need to personalize this. If you could be that person that can help save a life then why not? You don’t need a calamity to take place to realise the importance of this.”

Dr Atul Ganatra, Vice-President, FOGSI said, “One donor can save up to eight lives by organ donation and heal up to 50 through tissue donation.FOGSI is dedicating year 2020 to enlisting as many organ donors as possible. We will have camps every 15 days and hope to reach 10000 people this year.”

Dr.Ganatra added further that there are many myths associated with organ donation. “Many people think that after donating the organs, the body of the donating person would get disfigured and mangled. Actually, it is not true because harvesting organs from a donor is done respectfully by trained, skilled doctors with as much finesse as a surgery.”

People are not aware of how to donate and where to donate. For e.g.; brain stem death via road traffic accident is recognised as a legal death in India and almost 37 different organs and tissues can be donated including vital organs such as kidneys, heart, liver and lungs. After natural cardiac death, a few organs/tissues can be donated (like cornea, bone, skin and blood vessels).

On behalf of FOGSI, Dr. Gandhi appealed to all the citizens of India to pledge for organ donation and to also inspire others to join in this noble cause.
“More than 1000 people have already taken the pledge” he added.

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