The Telegraph
Monday , October 8 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Meet focus on kidney donations

More than 500 nephrologists from all over the country will converge in Ranchi for a three-day annual conference beginning October 12 and draw up an action plan to promote the idea of voluntary kidney donation in Jharkhand.

The doctors, under the aegis of Indian Council of Nephrology, East Zone, will also approach the state government to draw up a new legislation that would pave the way for men and women to pledge their kidneys after their demise on the lines of voluntary eye donation.

“In Jharkhand, out of 20 admissions at the Apollo Hospital, Irba, Ranchi, everyday, 8 to 10 are due to malaria and renal failure,” said Ghanshyam Singh, senior consultant nephrologist told The Telegraph.

Of these, he explained, 10 per cent were from the higher echelons with access to, and the means to afford, donor kidneys. Forty per cent could afford dialysis throughout their lifetime though they did not have the means to undergo a transplant. The remaining 50 per cent could not afford the high costs of a transplant or a lifetime of dialysis and were simply forced to await a painful death.

“Thousands of lives are lost annually from kidney, heart and liver failure. A lot more lives can be saved if donor kidneys are available and more and more people opt for voluntary organ donation,” he stressed.

Even as the Centre passed the Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THO) in 1994 paving the way for organ donations, poor awareness, high cost of treatment and lack of proper infrastructure has kept the fate of many hanging in the balance. As of now, public awareness was the biggest roadblock regarding organ donations. “Awareness is lacking among the public as well as doctors. Many doctors do not have a clear concept of brain dead or cadaveric organ donation. It is necessary that society accepts organ donation as a noble gesture. It is a voluntary gesture, wherein no commercial trade of organs is involved,” Singh added.

Apollo Hospital medical superintendent P.D. Sinha said the three-day annual conference would draw up an action plan to raise public awareness for voluntary kidney donation and at the same time educate doctors on the subject.

“A live kidney transplant workshop would also be organised at the conference, which would also educate doctors on latest medical advances in the treatment of kidney ailments,” he added.

Undiagnosed fever, malaria, dengue, chickengunia, apart from hypertension, diabetes, liver ailments, etc are the major causes of acute renal failure. Incidence of malaria, fever, chickengunia, dengue are on the rise in Jharkhand during the rainy season every year from July to December.