India?s first organ and tissue transplant body to come up in New Delhi

New Delhi (ISJ): The first national organ and tissue transplant organisation (NOTTO) will come up in New Delhi. NOTTO 0708The organisation to be commissioned in 18 months at Safdurjung Hospital in the national capital, will maintain computerised networks with 24 identified transplant and organ retrieval centres in the region.

"I wish to see a body pledging revolution in India," said Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vadhan in New Delhi on Thursday (Aug. 07). He said the government will launch a fresh initiative to ensure organs and tissues are collected scientifically from donors and distributed to patients-in-need at minimum cost.

"At present only a handful of private hospitals are controlling information on organ availability, which is making costs prohibitive for the common man. Soon public institutions will make possible for speedy and effective distribution of kidneys, hearts, lungs, bones, tissues, cornea, skin and cells at token cost to those who can pay and free to the poor," Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

The Minister said, organ donation from the brain dead to patients-in-need is facilitated by law. Still the rate of organ donation in India is only 0.16 per 1 million population, compared to 40 in Spain and 35 in the United States, he rued.

On Wednesday, a dry-run to transport a dummy heart was successfully carried out between IGI Airport and a Gurgaon-based private hospital covering over a 15.4 Km in 15 minutes through rush hour traffic. In normal days, this would have taken at least twice the time. In June, two heart transplants were carried out in Chennai using the ?green corridor? system.

Dr Harsh Vardhan said he would consult state governments on setting up NOTTO-like institutions in all state capitals. The 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017) has allocated Rs 149 crore for setting up organ donation facilitation infrastructure. However, in the first two years only about Rs 10 crore was spent.

?"Though my heart swells with pride on reading of green corridors, I am also sorry to note that most people in this country are not yet free from superstition that inhibit them from even implementing the pledges made by their parents, leave alone committing their own bodies for donation," lamented Dr. Harsh Vardhan.

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