In the wake of announcement made by Union Health Minister, J. P. Nadda to develop a policy mechanism and address the institutional gaps to promote organ donation, B P Sharma, Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) took a meeting to consider further steps for accelerating the Organ Transplant Programme of the Ministry. Apart from senior officers of the Ministry, technical experts including senior doctors from the Government and the private sector took part in the meeting.
It was noted that the rate of cadaveric transplants – as opposed to transplant of organs from a live donor – was very low. It was further noted that most of these transplants were transplant of eye and involvement of other organs is negligible. The technology for organ transplantation was well-developed in the country; and hence, there was a need to give a fillip to the organ transplant programme.
It was decided that an Inter-Ministerial Committee to be headed by Secretary, Health and Family Welfare would be set up to resolve issues of coordination, and also to obtain support from other related organizations towards this task. It was also felt that there should be greater ownership of the programme both by Government and by health professionals.
It was decided to intensify IEC efforts to convey the noble message of organ donation in a more sensitive and effective manner. All forms of media should be involved in this exercise.
It was decided that the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) would be given more autonomy by making it a registered society. It was also decided to strengthen the infrastructure at regional and state levels. It was decided that a programme will be launched for suitably recognizing / honouring families of those who donate their organs after their death. Furthermore, it was decided that comprehensive training would be provided to staff handling the task for organ transplantation in various hospitals.