Jeevandan changes 1,600 lives in Telangana

Deccan Chronicle.  | Kaniza Garari

Nation, Current Affairs

1,068 kidneys, 593 eyes donated under the health scheme launched by state government.

While the number of eye tissue donations in Telangana state is the highest in the country, under the Jeevandan scheme only 593 cornea donations are registered. This is because the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute has a wider network and tabulates the data from different centres in the country.

Hyderabad: As many as 1,068 kidneys and 593 eyes have so far been transplanted as part of the Jeevandan scheme launched by the Telangana state government, making it the largest number of organ donations in the state. This gave a new lease of life to a total of 1,662 persons out of the 3,563 patients registered for organ transplants in the state.

While the number of eye tissue donations in Telangana state is the highest in the country, under the Jeevandan scheme only 593 cornea donations are registered. This is because the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute has a wider network and tabulates the data from different centres in the country. The data of organ donations under the Jeevandan scheme are collected only from the 28 hospitals empanelled with them.

Dr G. Swarnalatha, chief of Jeevandan, says, “The success in kidney transplant is because of the co-operation from the government and private hospitals. We are now looking at networking with other states so that if an organ is not required in Telangana, but is required in other states of South India, we can send it there. There is a central pool data created for organs which will help within states in South India and also the rest of the country."

The rate of organ donation increased from 3.01 per million population in 2016 to 4.01 per million population in 2018 in Telangana state. In 2018, there were 160 donations under the Jeevandan scheme, the highest since the inception of the programme in 2013, when there were only 41 donations. In 2019, there has been a dip with only 73 donations till June.

The scheme has encountered two important problems this year — one is that relatives are unwilling to declare a patient as brain dead, and are taking patients away in a chronic condition, and the other is the lack of intensive care units in government hospitals.

Dr T. Gangadhar, senior nephrologist at Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, says that the lack of sufficient intensive care units in government set-ups “is not giving people the confidence that there is enough being done to save their patient. When that happens, they are not willing to donate the organs after the patient is declared brain dead.”

Recent studies have found that there is 74 per cent awareness among people in the city for organ donation but the same cannot be said for the rural areas.

The declaration of “brain dead” is looked upon with suspicion in rural areas. At the village level, families are labelled as sellers of dead organs and this is creating a major hurdle.

A senior doctor on condition of anonymity expla-ined, “Donations in corporate hospitals are better when compared to government hospitals because infrastructure and facilities are better and doctors are continuously monitoring the patient’s progress.

“This gives confidence to the relatives that there is sufficient being done to save the patient. Hence the system speaks about the efforts and that is a factor for organ donation,” the senior doctor said.

Dr Sarbeswar Sahariah, renowned nephrologist, says quality is the key. “Access to quality and affordable transplantation gives patients the faith and the courage to opt for it. For a recipient, the question is also of quality,” Dr Sahariah says.

With Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences and KIMS completing 1,000 kidney transplants, the endeavour is to have a strong cadaver donation programme rather than focus on transplants from live donors.

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