Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, formally dedicated the Centre of Excellence in Organ Transplantation at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre in Kochi.
In his address Dr. Vardhan said, science should be able to help people, who are still deprived of the basic facilities in the country, even after 68 years of freedom. "Nobody in this country is deprived of an organ inspite of the fact that there are many who could donate, but because of lack of information, lack of knowledge, lack of motivation, etc," said Dr. Vardhan.
Dr. Vardhan called for a mass national campaign to make organ donation a success. He said, the Centre has institutionalized organ donation, with the setting up of National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO). "Being born as a human being and enjoying the privileges as a human being is not enough. The challenge is to be able to become a human being," said the minister.
Malayalam cine actor Mohanlal, the Goodwill Ambassador for Organ Donation, felicitated the families of donors of the first two twin hand transplants in the country for their exemplary action. The first hand transplant in the country was carried out on January 12, 2015 on a 30 year old youth named Manu, who lost both his hands in a train accident three years back.
Following the success of this procedure, the second bilateral hand transplant was carried out on April 10, 2015 on Abdul Rahim, an Afghanistan soldier who lost his both hands in a mine blast. Both these recipients have started using their hands for day to day activities. These procedures were the first of its kind in whole of South East Asia and the first in the world in colored hands. The Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre has emerged as one of the largest centers in India, carrying out organ transplantations.
Over the last 15 years, it has carried out about 900 cases of transplantations, which includes heart, small intestine, pancreas, bone marrow besides liver and kidney. It is the only facility in South East Asia that has successfully carried out hand transplants. Transplantation of organs include tissue like Bone Marrow, solid organs like liver, heart, kidney, lung, small intestine, pancreas and composite tissue like hands and face.
The organs can be donated by live donors for certain organs or procured from brain dead deceased donors. The services are backed by a team of specialist doctors, paramedics and support services.