B P Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the One-day National Advocacy Conference for sensitization of State Governments and other stakeholders on National Organ Transplant Programme and function to commemorate the National Organ Donation Day. He also released the Operational Guidelines of National Organ Transplantation Programme (NOTP).
Speaking on the occasion, the Health Secretary stated that organ donation is a pious thing and we must all do our effort to promote it. Expressing concern over the huge gap between supply and demand in the sector, he said that while we have good medical infrastructure, legal framework, programmes and professionals, we still have not been able to meet the demand of organs for the needy patients. We therefore, need to understand the challenges and work on them in a positive manner, he added.
The Health Secretary stated that enhanced awareness among people is needed to encourage people to donate organs. This requires involvement of the civil society, religious leaders and other stakeholders in creating awareness. He further stated that we should try to provide affordable and accessible organ transplantation.
After launching the Website of NOTTO (National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization), Dr. (Prof) Jagdish Prasad, Director General of Health Services stated that lack of awareness is the main challenge behind less number of organ donors. He said that the Indian Medical Association at every level, and other stakeholders should be involved to create awareness among people to donate organs. He assured the state health secretaries and other representatives that Government of India will extend all assistance in their initiatives.
Present at the occasion were senior officials of the Health Ministry including N S Kang, Additional Secretary, Special DGHS, Dr. B D Athani, State officials from Delhi, Gujarat, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Tamil Nadu.