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Union Health Minister Mansukh on Saturday launched a national campaign on body-organ donation, named "Swasth Sabal Bharat." Initiated by Dadhichi Deh Dan Samiti, the campaign aims to spread awareness about organ donation and enlighten people to the fact that the donated body/organs of a deceased/donor can restore life in several people in need for organs. More than 60 NGOs from 21 states across the country came together to support the cause.
Inaugurating the "Swasth Sabal Bharat" Conclave, Mandaviya expressed concern over people's lack of awareness and involvement in body-organ donation.
The launch event was attended by a host of other eminent personalities, including Ganga Prasad Chaurasia, Governor of Sikkim, Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State for External Affairs, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Member of Parliament, Sushil Modi, Member of Parliament, and a host of other eminent personalities.
Delegates from NGOs from across the country, stakeholders and associations in the health sector came together to support the campaign.
During a discussion session, the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) presented a detailed report on organ donation in India, which showed a sharp decline in the number of brain-dead donors in 2020. The number of brain-dead donors reduced to 315 in 2020, from 715 in 2019. The number rose in 2021 with 552 registrations, but it was still lesser than the record maintained in 2019.
Further, NOTTO highlighted that there has been a very slow improvement in organ donation rate (ODR) in the country in the past eight years. ODR in 2013 was 0.27, which increased only marginally to 0.4 in 2021. The organisation stressed the need to take strong initiatives to improve ODR. This is the very reason why Dadhichi Deh Dan Samiti initiated the Swasth Sabal Bharat campaign.
Despite having one of the largest populations, India is far behind other developing countries in terms of organ donation, noted Harsh Malhotra, President of Dadhichi Deh Dan Samiti, stating lack of public awareness as the major reason behind this.
"As revealed by the CVoter survey, it is not prejudice or superstitions that prevent citizens from considering organ donation as an option. It is the lack of credible information and ignorance over the issue. More than 85 per cent of respondents in the survey clearly stated that they did not know about donating organs like kidneys, liver, heart, lungs and eyes," he said.
"There is thus an urgent need for the government, civil society groups and concerned citizens to come together and spread the message of organ donation that saves a precious life every time. It is our firm belief that through this campaign, we will achieve our target to encourage more and more people towards body-organ-eye donation," Malhotra added.
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