In 1998, India had 1 per cent of the world’s road vehicles and 6 per cent of the world’s road accidents. These accidents have increased to 10 per cent in 2006. The total number of road accidents are approximately 90,000 per year. By conservative estimates about 245 Indians die in road accidents every day and 40 per cent of those people are left `brain dead’. Other causes of brain death such as sub-arachnoids’ haemorrhage and brain tumours would potentially add more numbers. Even if 5 per cent to 10 per cent of all these deceased patients donate their organs, then a living person won’t have to donate organs. The deceased donation programme will not only promote kidney transplants but liver, heart, pancreas, and lung transplants will also increase in the country, said Dr BS Aulakh, a urologist based in DMCH who had been into Kidney transplants for more than two decades and is also the President of Gift for life organ donation association(GLODAS). Dr Aulakh said that to spread more awareness GLODAS will be organising nukkad plays on August 6 in different parts of the city and also will be organising other awareness drives.
He said that a number of people die because of lack of availability of organs. In India every year there is a need of approximately 1,75,000 kidneys, 50,000 hearts and 50,000 livers for transplantation. As against the need, only 5,000 kidney transplants in 180 centres, 400 livers in 25 centres and 10-15 hearts in very few centres are done annually. As many as 95 per cent kidneys and livers are from living donors. Whereas in western world above 70 per cent transplanted organs are from brain dead people. In India every 4-5 min one person die of kidney failure.
GLODAS has distributed more than 15,000 donor cards to people interested in voluntarily donating their organs after their life. Such attempts help us in a great way in identifying voluntary organ donors. One way to do this is by having driving licences to double up as donor cards, a practice that’s followed in various Western countries, suggested Dr Aulakh.