For the fourth time in a row, the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) at Chandigarh has bagged the award for 'Best Hospital' for its outstanding contribution towards promotion of cadaver organ donation.
The award was given by National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) at a webcast event held on Thursday to mark the 11th Indian Organ Donation Day by NOTTO.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and MoS Ashwani Kumar Choubey were the chief guest and guest of honour at the event.
Expressing his happiness, PGIMER Director Prof Jagat Ram dedicated the feat to the families of organ donors. "We dedicate the 'Best Hospital' award to all the braveheart donor families for their unparalleled benevolence which helped save hundreds of lives and, in fact, sustain the deceased donation programme in PGIMER," he said.
Speaking to IANS, he however expressed concern over a severe dip in cadaver donation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that the hospital had managed only 16 cadaver donations so far in 2020, which is merely 50% of the previous year's figure.
"In the first three months, we received as many as 10 donations. Then the COVID-19 hit us in March, followed by the lockdown. Since then, we have only been able to receive 6 more donations," Ram told IANS.
In 2019, the hospital received 31 donations, 33 in 2018, and 44 in 2017.
He hoped that that the situation will improve gradually and appealed people to come forward and save the lives of others through donation of organs of deceased family members.