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Mumbai: Keeping the rising demand for organs in view, Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu urged doctors and other health care delivery providers to focus on the preventive care and making organ transplantation an affordable therapy for all. Speaking at the 29th Conference of Indian Society of Organ Transplantation in Hyderabad he said that there is an urgent need to reduce the massive demand and supply gap of organs in India. He called for stepping up the campaign for organ donation in a big way to meet the huge demand due to rising number of end organ failures of kidney, liver, heart, lung and pancreas.

I would like all the doctors and other health care delivery providers to focus on the preventive care and make transplantation an affordable therapy for all the needy people. Use Make in India programme to promote manufacturing medicines and devices in India at an affordable price, the Vice-President said.

To underline the plight of organ donors and recipients in India, the Vice-President gave statistics and said that of the 85,000 liver failure patients on waitlist annually, less than 3 per cent get the organ. Similarly, while two lakhs kidney failure patients registered for organ transplantation, only 8000 get the kidney. And barely one per cent get heart or lung amongst the thousands on the waiting list.

The Vice-President said though there was a huge leap in cadaveric organ donations in the last 4-5 years, the demand-supply remained hugely unmet because of low rates of organ donation at 0.8 per million population when smaller countries like Spain and Croatia were having rates of 36 per million and 32 per million respectively.

Vice-President Naidu further said that due to traditional customs and beliefs people are hesitant to donate their or their loved one’s organs, but these myths need to be addressed effectively for organ donation to flourish in India.

Governments, NGOs, doctors & others to make people aware of the importance of organ donation as there is a significant gap in increasing end organ failures & organ donations due to cultural beliefs, traditions & ritual practices in our country, he said.

Also Read: Organ Donation: Kolkata Witnessed An Incredible Feat Of 2 Heart Transplants Within 24 Hours

NDTV – Fortis More To Give campaign aims to promote organ donation and encourage Indians to take the pledge to be an organ donor. India has among the lowest rates of organ donation in the world at 0.5 donor per million population, which is far less compared to over 30 donors per million in some western countries. On an average, five lakh Indians die every year unable to get an organ transplant in time due to the shortage of organs. Every year on National Organ Donation Day on November 27, a Walkathon is organised across different cities of India to raise awareness, bust myths about organ donation and encourage people to become organ donors. Over the years, the campaign has gathered support from celebrities like actor Irrfan Khan, Swara Bhasker, Gul Panag and Former Indian Hockey Captain Sandeep Singh.