Though our transplant surgeons are among the best in the world, there is a long way to go as far as transplants are concerned, said Dr Prathap C Reddy, Apollo Hospitals Chairman. Speaking on the occasion of World Organ Donation Day, the founder of the Apollo empire said, ""Despite steps taken by the government to promote cadaver organ donation in the capital, the gap between demand and supply is only widening. Though it is heartening to know that Tamil Nadu is one of the top states in terms of organ donation, we have to do a lot more towards increasing the organ donation count in India and saving precious lives."
Gift a Life, an initiative supported by Apollo Hospitals that actively promotes organ donation, had a whopping 10,328 employees of the Apollo network including Dr Prathap C Reddy, sign on to pledge their organs post brain death. In 2012 alone, Apollo carried out 1200 transplants, a fact that testifies the increasing demand for organs. Ironically, each year hundreds of Indians die while waiting for an organ transplant. The reason for this is that there is acute imbalance between the number of organs donated and the number of people waiting for a transplant.
The bridge between organs donated in the West and in India is huge - even now while 2.1 lakh Indians require kidney transplantation, only 3000 - 4000 kidney transplants are done on an average, annually.
The situation is not very different in relation to heart transplants either - while around 4,000-5,000 patients in India require a heart transplant on an average each year, so far only 100 heart transplants have been conducted across the country.
On the Contrary, USA does around 26 donations per million and Spain does around 35 donations per million people. Though Tamil Nadu's organ donation rate is ten times the national average, there is a long road ahead, in terms of creating awareness on cadaveric donation and increasing this count for India.
Dr Preetha Reddy, MD, Apollo Hospitals said, ""We need people to tell their loved ones they want to be an organ donor so that, should the time come, their decision will be honoured."