Govt to set up national body for organ transplant

Updated: Jan 25, 2012, 10:04 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Making a significant move towards the healthcare systems, after allowing swapping of organs, India is working on another milestone in organ transplantation, where a single apex national organization will procure and distribute human organs.

While, Union Health Ministry is setting up the autonomous National Organ Procurement and Distribution Organization (NOPDO) at the Centre and 10 State Organ Procurement and Distribution Organization (SOPDO) under the country`s new National Organ Transplant Programme (NOTP), Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, West Bengal, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Thiruvanthapuram, Lucknow and Bangalore have been identified as locations for SOPDO.

However, NOPDO will strive to increase on the availability of organs from cadaver donors, build capacity for retrieval of organs and transplantation and roll out post-transplant services to both recipients and living donors.

A Union health ministry official said, "We intend to bring all organ banks - both public and private - under the NOPDO. The director general of health services is planning the new NOTP. We will meet experts from AIIMS and other organ banks in first week of February. We are also looking to tie up with all private banks."

Also on the anvil is the Indian Organ Donor Register, enabling individuals to record their legal consent to become an organ or tissue donor after death, at an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore.

"This registry will have information on all types of organ procurement, matching, distribution, transplantation and complications. It will also maintain entries of transplant centres, transplant surgeons, dialysis physician and dialysis centres," a ministry note says.

The ministry wants to reward organ donors. Certificate of recognition will be given to donors by the transplant centre. "Steps would be taken to make provision for diagnostic tests at subsidized cost to transplant recipients and donor patients through the public sector healthcare delivery system. Free annual health check up to living donor and free treatment of all donor-related complications would be promoted," it adds.

The Register will not only ensure that consent (or objection) to donating organs for transplantation that can be verified by authorized medical personnel, but even in the event of death, information about the decision will be accessed from the Register and provided to family.

"Medical Insurance for the donors may be funded by the recipient," a ministry says. The official added, "We want to enhance facilities for organ transplantation throughout India, establish network for equitable distribution of retrieved deceased organs, increase organ availability through change in attitude and facilitating the retrieval of deceased organs, building up human resource like training required manpower. Incentives will also be doled out to transplant donors and recipients on follow up."

The ministry also plans to build 10 new facilities for kidney and two for liver transplantation both in public and private sector. The ministry is also increasing networking of the transplant centers for organ sharing. There are about 200 kidney, 30 liver and 14 heart transplant centres across India.

"We will soon conduct training of retrieval team members, transplant surgeon, dialysis physician, nurse, grief counselors and dialysis technician through a structured programme. Leading centres like Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Apollo and Medanta Medicity will be involved in the training programme," an official said.

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