Hyderabad: Nearly five years after its launch, Jeevandan organ donation programme in Telangana continues to break new ground in reaching out to public and even other States. The unique programme has attracted the attention of States like Kerala and Karnataka, which have traditionally performed better in basic healthcare indices like maternal and infant mortality rates.
Both the States have evinced keen interest in replicating the Jeevandan model and will be sending their authorities to study the scheme. Recently, the Jeevandan authorities also visited Chhattisgarh on invitation and interacted with the local health authorities on ways and means to start a State-run organ donation scheme.
Launched in 2013, the organ donation scheme has so far managed to secure pledges for organ donation from 45,000 persons in various parts of the State by holding frequent awareness programmes and interaction sessions with a variety of professional bodies and institutions.
Another reason why other States display keen interest in Jeevandan scheme in Telangana is the steady growth in the number of organ donations. After the initial struggles, in the last two years, the rate of organ donation has continued to increase steadily in the State.
In the first year of its launch, the health authorities collected 188 donor organs in the State. Last year, the organ donation scheme created history with the health authorities collecting a record 564 donor organs in the State.
Within the first four months of this year, the organ donation mark in Hyderabad has reached 206 organs, a sure indication that the programme is set to build on its last year’s performance.
While the number of donations has been on a steady rise, the fact also remains that the recipients’ list has also gone up in the last few years. At present, the waiting list of recipients is close to 5,000 patients with 2,668 of them in kidney list while the rest in the liver.
‘A decision can save at least five lives’
Government hospitals and organ donation
Gradually, but surely the State-run health institutions too have started to contribute to the programme. In the last few months, four kidney transplant surgeries were taken up at Gandhi Hospital. Osmania General Hospital (OGH) and NIMS have continued to perform very well in kidney transplantation. Very soon, we are also expecting to take up liver transplantation at NIMS, which will be another huge development.
The importance of organ donation
Jeevandan has ensured that the donor organs have always reached deserving patients. One must realise that there are scores of patients who are waiting for organs and the waiting list is ever increasing. A decision to donate organs has the potential to save at least five lives, which is quite laudable on the part of donors.
Interest shown by other States
Our organ donation programme has managed to survive the test of time and has registered a steady growth since 2013. Perhaps this could be the reason health authorities from other States like Kerala, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh have shown keen interest in our programme. We are expecting a delegation from Kerala in the coming days.
-Dr Swarnalatha, Jeevandan in-charge