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There is no greater good than saving a life and organ donation is one of the most noble ways to save lives. Even though humble cause, organ donation is yet to become a norm. In India currently, the organ donation rate is 0.25 per cent per million population. With strict laws in place, mandatory outreach programs and support groups working tirelessly towards making organ donation a mainstream practice, there have been some positive changes.
It is estimated that almost five lakh Indians face organ failure every year. Most of them will not live to have an organ transplant. For an estimated 2 lakh patients who suffer from renal failure annually, the number of kidney transplants is 6000-10000 every year. The story is similar to the case of other organ transplants such as liver, heart, and lungs. Only approximately 5 per cent of people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant will receive one.
Although in the last decade big strides have been made in transplantation and even organ donation in many states, most of the transplants are from living donors (around 80 per cent) and very few from deceased donors. Organs are not retrieved from thousands of brain-dead patients which could help a lot of critically ill patients hanging by a thread and fighting for their life. The crisis deepens with people getting added to the waiting list of transplants daily.
"Scarcity of organs is a problem that plagues the world. While many factors have contributed to the improved rate of donation in India also but there is still a huge gap that continues to fuel the crisis. With World Transplant Games, there is hope that there will be more awareness and information", shared Sunayana Singh, CEO ORGAN India.
For Davies Jose Kollannur too life changed at the young age of 28. He was living in Saudi Arabia when multiple symptoms led him to discover that he was suffering from kidney failure. After leaving his job, Davies moved to India for treatment. He underwent dialysis for 3 years and was finally able to receive a kidney transplant in 2001. An avid badminton player, he was afraid that he wouldn't be able to play badminton but his doctor and the people around him encouraged him to take up the sport once again. Since then, Davies has gone from success to success, winning medals and the All-India and SAARC Transplant games as well as multiple medals at the World Transplant Games in 2011 and 2013. He also dedicates his time to helping other transplant patients as the Transplant Coordinator at Westfort Hospital, Thrissur.
His medal tally would only have increased if it were not for another health crisis. In 2014, he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, the treatment of which caused his graft to start failing. He once again had to undergo a transplant in 2016. Many others would have given up on their dreams of sports at this stage, but Davies is not one of those people. He picked up the racket again and participated in the World Transplant Games in Newcastle in 2019 and is already training for yet another medal at the World Transplant Games 2023 in Perth!
For many people battling ice and death situations, Organ Donation is a boon, a chance at a second life and we hope that no life is lost due to scarcity of organs.
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