Chandigarh : 13 August : Regional Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation (ROTTO) PGIMER reiterated its commitment to help those in-waiting recipients by promoting the noble cause of Organ Donation and endorsed the need for public education and community engagement to save precious lives on the occasion of World Organ Donation Day here at PGIMER today.

To mark the day, ROTTO PGIMER collaborated with PGI Nurses Welfare Association and launched a week long social media campaign to motivate people to pledge for organ donation. An interesting and engaging poster making competition was also held alongside to garner traction for the cause which got enthusiastic response.

Lauding the initiatives undertaken by ROTTO and PGIMER to carry forward the mandate on the World Organ Donation Day, Prof. Jagat Ram, Director PGIMER stated, “The basic premise of observing World Organ Donation Day is to initiate the much needed conversation in the society to dispel myths & misconceptions and disseminate correct information to promote the noble cause of Organ Donation. These initiatives definitely help in boosting the transplantation activity in the region and thereby, contribute to saving those terminally ill organ failure patients.”

Prof. Jagat Ram further stated, “Even in the thick of Covid, when the numbers are consistently surging and PGIMER is overwhelmed with COVID positive patients, introducing those waiting to receive an organ to this environment as well as conducting transplants is ridden with multiple challenges.”

“This goes to the credit of each and every member of the PGIMER team involved in the process that their untiring efforts enabled saving around 20 lives with 10 live and 8 cadaver kidney transplants and one heart transplant despite alongside grappling with the unprecedented crisis of COVID-19 since end of March till date through this period of lock-downs, ” the Director added.

Endorsing the need for public education, Prof. (Dr.) Vipin Koushal, Addl. Medical Superintendent & Nodal Officer, ROTTO PGIMER stated, “Over the last few years, the number of deceased donor transplants have been steady in PGIMER and enhanced awareness has definitely been an enabling factor along with synergised efforts by the concerned departments.”

“Till date, the organs transplanted as well as shared with other hospitals by PGIMER include Kidney: 4155 (Live 3731; Cadaver 424); Liver:76 (52 transplanted here and 24 shared with other hospitals) Heart:16 (6 transplanted here and 10 shared with other hospitals) ; Pancreas:25 and Cornea:8037.

“This is a huge feat by a single institution but still there is a long way to go considering the burgeoning gap between demand and availability and hence, public education is critical to bridge this gap between patients who need organs and potential organ donors, ” added Prof. Koushal

Ms Hitika Thakur, President, PGI Nurses Welfare Association, feeling elated with the response to the campaign, shared, “The intent of the campaign was to engage with community and medical fraternity in particular and motivate them to pledge for organ donation through infotainment activities. Going by the response, we will further broadbase the campaign through multiple social media platforms to maximise outreach about the cause.”