Hyderabad: Persistent attempts at spreading awareness among people in general and targeted groups in particular seems to be working for Jeevandan organ donation initiative of the State government.
Thanks to these initiatives, organ donations from Hyderabad and districts have continued to rise steadily every year. In fact, a few months ago, the initiative crossed a landmark when it crossed 600 donors and till now, some 2,459 organs have been donated.
CM birthday celebrations impact
Ever since Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s birthday celebrations, which revolved around organ donation, there has been a huge increase in enquiries from private hospitals to join the organ donation initiative. The involvement of top politicians, including Nizamabad MP Kavitha Kalvakuntla, in spreading the message of organ donation and pledging organs has triggered a massive response from public and hospitals.
“The enquiries from private hospitals to join the initiative have increased. We have received a large number of applications from them, and we are scrutinising them in a methodical way,” says Jeevandan in-charge Dr G Swarnalatha.
At present, there are nearly 27 hospitals, a majority of them from Hyderabad, that are actively involved in organ donation, and the number could increase to 40 soon. The number of individuals who have pledged organs has swelled to 50,000.
‘Maro Janma’ with police
Another unique initiative, ‘Maro Janma’, specifically targeted at security agencies, has gone a long way in encouraging organ donation in the State. The entire cadaver organ donation drive is based on accident victims, and there is involvement of police authorities at every level.
The initiative is to make police personnel, especially those who are involved at the field-level and come directly in contact with hospitals that are involved in brain dead declaration of patients and accident cases, aware of the urgency of time which is of utmost importance in handling Medico-Legal Cases (MLCs) and organ donations.
“We received a huge response from Cyberabad Commissioner of Police VC Sajjanar on the importance of organ donation. There are now police personnel who themselves encourage and counsel family members of trauma victims to go for organ donation because they come in contact first with such families,” Dr Swarnalatha points out.
The mere act of donating organs is quite emotional for the family members of the deceased, and a majority of donations occur from families who reside in districts. Health officials said often, after the completion of organ donation, these families feel left out and sometimes, they have apprehensions on whether the organs were given to deserving patients.
To provide emotional support to such families in districts and build confidence, Jeevandan authorities have started holding ‘Condolence Meetings’ on 10th and 13th day after the death of the victim with families. “Our counsellors are visiting their villages and holding condolence meetings with families of victims. The idea is to assure them that their decision to donate organs was a wise one,” Dr Swarnalatha added.