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BCC&I to set up task force for awareness in organ donation

PTI | Kolkata |

A panel of speakers at the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCC&I) has emphasised the need to spread awareness on the ‘Deceased Donor Programme Cadaver Daan’, which is aimed at organ donation and transplantation.
The chamber will set up a task force to raise awareness towards organ donation and transplantation, in which West Bengal is lagging behind as compared to several other states, Chairperson Emeritus of Health Committee, BCC&I, Amit Ghose said.
While thousands of patients are anxiously waiting for organ transplant, it has not been generally possible for want of right donors, he said.
Ghose, also a consultant Urologist at Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals Kolkata, said the chamber has already started registering the names of donors, who made the pledge.
The names registered as donors included — R N Lahiri (Chairperson Emeritus, IT Committee of BCC&I), S Radhakrishnan (former chief of BCC&I), Dipak Dutta (member of BCC&I), Arun Kumar Mukherjee (Chairperson of Energy and Environment Committee of BCC&I), Subhodip Ghosh (Director General of BCC&I) and Ghose himself.
V V Lakshminarayanan, Chief Nephrologist at Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, described the initiative by as most appropriate in the present situation.
Admitting that the state is lagging behind in this regard, state’s Additional Director of Health Service (DHS) Aditi Kishore Sarkar said steps are being taken by the state government to boost awareness on the issue and some donors have come forward in the last five months.
Speaking on the occasion, doctor Vivek Jha touched upon various legal and ethical problems and discussed how to overcome those hurdles to enhance people’s awareness on the issue.
Senior Consultant Urologist and Managing Trustee of Mohan Foundation, Sunil Shroff also called upon people to come forward and help promote the number of donors to save lives through organ transplantation.
Since passing of the Transplantation of Human Organ (THO) Act in 1994, it has been possible to undertake multi-organ transplant activity from brain-dead donors.
However, people should develop positive attitude towards organ donation and consent by relatives should be available for organ donation in the event of brain death, the speakers observed. 
“Organ failure is an acute problem in India as well as in the entire world…. Patients suffer physically, mentally and of course economically,” they said.
Describing kidney transplantation as one of the most effective methods of treatment, they said that there is a huge crisis of healthy donors.
“We need to become aware of the immense need for voluntary organ donation. In the absence of live relative donors, unethical business is flourishing through various rackets who are doing it for money. Under these circumstances the most promising way forward is Cadaveric Transplantation,” the speakers said.
“Cadaveric Transplantation means when an organ or tissue is transplanted from a deceased or usually unrelated donor. That is possible when a patient is brain dead and the family decides to donate the person’s organs or the family of an accident victim donates the organs,” they said.
While India has woken up to the possibility of Cadaveric Organ Donation to save lives, West Bengal is also taking steps to ensure there can be a structured approach.
The Bengal Chamber of Commerce has taken up the challenge to spread awareness and put in place mechanisms by which this very useful concept could serve its purpose, the chamber said.