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03 April 2012
By Somita Pal
Mumbai India

It was tough for professor Amar Oswal to convince his family to donate the organs of his dead sister. But after the organs were donated, the family realised the impact of their deed.

Overwhelmed by the response from the families of the recipients, the entire Oswal family has pledged to donate their organs now. The Oswal family was one of the few cadaver organ donor families who were felicitated by Zonal Transplant Co-ordination Centre on the eve of Maharashtra Organ Donation Day.

While the city saw a fall in the number of organ donors in the last few years (10 in 2011), a record number of people have offered to donate organs thus far in 2012. “People have misconceptions on organ donations. But in the last three months, we have received six organ donors, from whom we got 11 kidneys and 4 livers,” said Dr Sujata Patwardhan, general secretary, ZTCC Mumbai.

The number of organ transplants that took place in Mumbai in the last 15 years is less than half of those in Tamil Nadu in the last three years. Mumbai saw 251 kidney and 36 liver transplants in the last 15 years, while Tamil Nadu’s total for the last three years stood at 656.

“We have decided to rope in 500+ general physicians in the city to spread organ donation awareness. We will make it compulsory for them to keep information on organ donation at their clinics,” added Patwardhan.

The ZTCC for the first time is also starting a cadaver organ donation support group for the families who donate bodies of their loved ones. “The decision to donate organs is a tough one. This support group will help try to help them deal with the death, while they learn to do a good deed in their time of grief. We have roped in an NGO for the same,” said Patwardhan.

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