NEW DELHI: India’s organ donation and transplant sector is set to undergo far-reaching structural changes, according to Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya. The minister gave the directive during a review of the sector’s status with senior Health Ministry officials, in the presence of Dr. Bharti Pravin Pawar, MOS (Health).
The move comes on the heels of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s call to fellow citizens to donate organs, which has given a fresh impetus to the cause in the country. The number of total organ transplants in India has significantly increased from less than 5000 in 2013 to more than 15000 in 2022.
The improved coordination through the network of Organ & Tissues Transplant Organizations at the national, regional, and state levels has enabled the utilization of more organs per deceased donor. For instance, in 2016, 2265 organs were utilized from 930 deceased donors, while 2765 could be used from 904 deceased donors in 2022.
NOTTO, the apex body for organ donation and transplantation in India, is working on a Transplant Manual and a Standard Course for training of Transplant Coordinators to improve implementation of the programme in hospitals. Four verticals for coordination, IEC, training, and HR/accounts have also been created in NOTTO.
The government has granted Central Government employees Special Casual Leaves of up to 42 days if they donate an organ to another human being as a special welfare measure in the public interest.
The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is also imbibing learnings from international best practices for further policy reforms to boost organ donation and transplantation in the country. The changes are expected to improve access to life-saving transplants and save countless lives.