New Delhi: Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Friday inaugurated a national organ donation registry that will track, facilitate and promote organ donations across the country and announced opening of transplant facilities at all major government hospitals.
Headquartered at Safdarjung hospital here, the registry called National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) will also lay down policy guidelines and protocols for organ donation and network with similar state-level organizations.
The government would train para medics and health workers in organ donation and transplant and in tackling traditional beliefs that discouraged people from donating their organs, the health minister said, adding the government hospitals would especially benefit from the training.
"A new decision to incorporate organ donation into the educational curriculum has also been taken, so that the children too get the real idea of organ donation," said Nadda, addressing a large gathering of organ donors and senior government officials on the occasion of the 6th India Organ Donation Day.
He admitted there had been a delay on the part of the government in taking charge of this sensitive area of human health.
"Of course, there has been a delay by the government towards promoting organ donation but the decisions we have taken in the last one year will make this cause a meaningful activity."
Several organ donors and their families from across the country were honoured on the occasion. Tamil Nadu was adjudged the state that saw the highest number of organ donations and did the highest number of awareness programmes.
Nadda called upon NGOs and voluntary organisations to come forward and work with the health ministry.
Every year 2,00,000 people in India need a kidney and 100,000 need a liver, according to the ministry. But only two to three percent of the demand for organs is met.
Nadda said there should be a forum where NGOs, hospitals and the ministry could interact on the issues involved in organ donation and on formulation of new policies.
The event was attended by Tamil Nadu health minister Vijay Bhaskar and several other senior health ministry officials including secretary B.P. Sharma.