New Delhi. The Former Miss India Nikita Anand and Bollywood actor Gul Panag, and many army officers Saturday pledged their organs for donation at the Army Research and Referral Hospital in the capital.
"Thousands of people suffering from organ dysfunction can benefit from organ donation and we are trying to help people especially our three services," said Lt. General S. Mukherjee, director general of medical Services (Army).
While assuring that her family would cooperate with her in this great cause, Panag, in her pledge said: "I, Gul Panag, hereby pledge to donate my organs in case of brain death."
"As I have a army background, it would be my pleasure to donate my organs for the betterment of some services person or even their family members," she added.
R.P. Choubey, head of the liver transplant department at the hospital, said that the three services and their dependant constitute one-sixth of India's population and this initiative would go a long way to do another great job for the country.
"We will ask all our service people to donate their organs and of their family members in case of brain death. We should not take our organs to heaven, they are required on earth," Choubey told IANS.
He said since they took up this campaign army hospital has reported 14 brain death cases of which seven were approached to donate organs but only two have donated.
"The donation have helped eight people including two soldiers," he added.
Brain death is a situation when the brain stops functioning but heart beats were still on. The person was dead but some of its organs were alive for some hours and that is the time when they should be retrieved.
Major S.K. Singh and Major Bipin Choudhury donated the organs of their father and mother after they were declared brain dead.
While Singh's effort helped two people, Chowdhury's action saved the life of five people including a 30-year old soldier and another 22-year-old soldier.
Army also launched an Armed Forces Organ Retrieval and Transplantation Authority (AORTA) that aims at creating awareness about organ donations, organ retrieval and transplantation.
The Liver Transplant update conference has many guest speakers from India and abroad. Dr.Mohammed Rela from the King's College, London is likely to operate on a few patients and do liver transplants over the next few days.
Dr.Sunil Shroff from MOHAN Foundation, Chennai spoke earlier on the state of cadaver transplant in India and the way forward. MOHAN has been involved with pioneering work with the programme for the last 10 years. He said that almost 1,200 cadaver transplants mostly kidneys have been done in the last 11 years in India. Of these almost 50% have been one in Tamil Nadu.
Dr.S.Nundy spoke on Liver Transplants in India. He felt that the way forward was to be able to push the cadaver programme and at the same time do living liver transplants.
Gangaram Hospital had emerged as a leading centre for liver transplants in India.
Col.Seth the organizing secretary of the conference gave credit to Dr.Pradi the transplant co-ordinator who counseled the family for organ donation and made it possible for this kind of transplant to take place in the Indian Army. He hoped that in the future through the AORTA and other similar organizations more cadaver donation and transplants will take place.