The need and the responsibility of every individual to donate organs was the reforming message driven to society at large at the Organ O'Cultural Fest organised by MOHAN Foundation on 09 August 2010 at Seminar Hall, Madras Medical College, Chennai. This was a celebration to start off the "Organ Donor Week 2010"
The one-of-a-kind cultural event honoured this social
obligation beginning with a presentation on Organ Donation and Organ Harvesting
and then progressed towards procedures and mandates of organ donation. The
programme also demystified the myths and fears that prevented people from
pledging to donate their organs, by clarifying the procedure in understandable
Fact of the Matter
The evidence of sincerity cut sharp through on the mention
of 'silent revolution' where Chennai, the city that once notoriously peaked the
charts on organ trafficking has become the 'leading- by- example' city in legal
and ethical organ transplantation. Chennai is also getting ready for a
prospective simultaneous organ transplantation of both heart and lungs.
However, Tamil Nadu has 0.8 donor per million whereas Spain has 32 donors per
million making Spain a worthy contender on that front.
Dr. Palani, the Deputy Medical Superintendent of Government
General Hospital elaborated on the current system that makes 'Brain-death
declaration' mandatory in all government hospitals.. A large number of those
injured in road traffic accidents (RTA) are brought to the government hospitals
and it is a well-established fact that one of the major causes of brain death
is severe injury sustained in RTAs. Grief Counsellors have an emotionally
challenging vocation since they are obliged to broach the subject of organ
donation to the patient's family members in this kind of traumatic situation.
Their decision has to come at an agonizing moment while the patient's heart
continues to beat but there is no chance of their beloved being restored to
life. He also praised Veena and Sujatha - Grief counselors from MOHAN
Foundation for doing a fantastic job and sometimes staying on with the family
of the deceased for up to 48 hours.
The success of the mission is solely credited to awareness.
Over one lakh people in India suffer from kidney diseases, although the disease
is not contagious the suffering spreads to family members. The cost of dialysis
and other diagnoses are expensive and often financial needs are met by
sponsors. The sad truth is that the demand for kidneys and other organs is on
the rise, but loss of organs is attributed to a lack of system. Victims of
accidents are potential organ donors but this goes unnoticed due to lack of
awareness not just in the general
public, but also in the medical community.
Challenges in Organ
Apart from ignorance and superstitious beliefs, other major
challenges include bureaucratic procedure that delays and causes inconvenience
to willing families who travel from distant places. Dr. Palani suggested that
since the cause of brain death in most cases is a road traffic accident and
that is clearly established, , post-mortem of such organ donors can be
conducted by doctors (forensic medicine experts) in the operation theatre at the same time as organ
retrieval. This change could ease the waiting time for grieving families.
Heroes and Testimony
The heartrending testimony of Mr. Sakthivel was inspiring.
He witnessed his wife Mrs. Sankari's fatal accident that left her brain-dead.
Despite his grief, he made the noblest decision to donate her organs, saving
six other people's life. He believes that by donating her organs she continues
to live in others. When people approached him off-stage he admitted that his
testimonial speech was emotionally difficult each time because he could not do
it without recalling the sight of his wife in the fatal accident, but he
continues to do it, to encourage others to save peoples' lives.
On a Happy Note
The intercollegiate function exhibited college students'
commitment to spreading awareness on organ donation through Mime, Street-Plays,
Poster-Design and Collage. Actor R. Siva Kumar was the shining star of the
evening, not only as an actor, but as an inspiring role model. His proactive
attitude had the audience laughing when he pulled out almost four Donor Cards
from his pocket before he was presented with an inaugural Donor Card by the
organizers. His speech was youthful and thought provoking, yet maintaining the
focus on organ donation.
The impact of the programme was positive since many people who attended
it, irrespective of whether they were medical or non-medical personnel, people
of all ages, from all walks of life, pledged to donate their organs. MOHAN
Foundation is a commendable initiative and the future of the organization
remains bright with the expectation of opening more branches across India, to
make it easier for people to donate organs and benefit from organ donation.
To download an Organ Donor card visit. http://www.mohanfoundation.org/downloads.asp