Who Seeks City Doctor’s Advice On Organ Donation
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26 July 2010
By Malathy Iyer
If Indian metros were until recently synonymous across the world with the infamous kidney bazaar, the perception seems to be changing. A fortnight ago, Genevabased World Health Organisation hand–picked a doctor from the city to give ideas for developing a sustainable deceased donor programme in its 98 member countries.
Dr Vatsala Trivedi, the former head of urology of Sion Hospital who conducted the first transplant with a cadaver kidney in 1997, was among 14 delegates asked to make presentations to WHO officials on ways to increase the cadaver (deceased) donor pool. "The first question that arises is on funding such an endeavour,’’ she said on her return to the city. The law could be tweaked to allow donations to be made to the PM’s or CM’s funds, specifically for organ donation, she added.
Considering Mumbai’s recent track record, the invite for Dr Trivedi isn’t surprising. The city had steady donations throughout 2008, 2009 and in 2010, so far. "We had 36 kidney donations and six liver donations in 2009.
This year, 14 kidneys and six livers have been donated. In a positive development, the general public seems to be aware of organ donation and no longer associates it with something illegal,’’ said Sujata Ashetekar who is coordinator for the Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre (ZTCC). For cadaver donation in the city, the ZTCC uses its computer programme (that has an exhaustive list of people waiting for a kidney and their health details) to decide who should get the kidneys.
In fact, the ZTCC’s impartial process of computerisation, has won it kudos from across the country, including from the Union health ministry.
At the Geneva meeting, Dr Trivedi also suggested that brain death registry should be maintained by every hospital. "Even accreditation such as National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Joint Commission International for the hospital concerned should be tied up with the brain registry and cadaver transplant programmes,’’ she said.