08 September 2012
The Pune–based Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre (ZTCC) which had been functioning without any government funds since 2004, has been allocated a monthly budgetary fund of Rs 60,000.
The move is expected to provide impetus to human organ transplantation, particularly cadaver donations, and improve the city’s dismal cadaver donation count – which stands at less than 50 kidneys and three livers in the last eight years.
"The allocation is primarily for routine office expenses, salaries of the staff who look after day–to–day functioning of the Pune centre," state’s additional chief secretary (public health) T C Benjamin told the TOI soon after he conducted a meeting of all the representative hospitals registered with the Pune centre in the city on Friday.
The objective of the meeting was to take stock and initiate measures to revive and streamline the work of Pune ZTCC, he added.
Ever since its inception in 2004, the Pune centre has been operational from the KEM hospital, Rasta Peth, which has been acting as a host to coordinate the work at its own hospital space. The centre has been plagued with issues like lack of dedicated staff, independent office–space and fund crunch for awareness activities.
Among the eight hospitals registered with the Pune centre as designated organ transplant units are KEM hospital, Ruby Hall clinic, Jehangir hospital, Aditya Birla memorial hospital, Sahyadri hospital, Poona hospital and research centre and Patankar urology unit.
All earlier decisions taken by the state government to boost the number of potential donors and increase cadaver (post–death) organ donations like mandatory reporting of brain–dead patients, hospitals with ICU and operation theater to act as non–transplant organ retrieval centres, driving license–holder to mention his or her consent (if applicable) to organ donation in the license itself, new column in college admission forms asking students if they are interested in organ donation were reiterated during the meeting.
Maharashtra has two ZTCCs – one each in Mumbai and Pune. Plans are afoot to set up two more – in Nagpur and Aurangabad. The ZTCC, a registered body with the charity commissioner, is formed by the appropriate authority through a government resolution. Its primary aim is to promote cadaver organ transplant.