'Jeevandan' Beckons Needy Patients for New Lease of Life

VIJAYAWADA: The ‘Jeevandan’ organ transplantation programme, launched two months ago by the state government, has finally opened its services for needy patients, a week ago, and successfully completed cadaver transplantations for three patients.

Though the government has launched the Appropriate Authority for Cadaver Transplantation (AACT) under the AP Transplantation of Human Organs Act-1995 at NTR University of Health Sciences (NTRUHS) on Jan 26, which is named ‘Jeevandan’, the AACT members spent two months on  detailed study of the programme that was successfully implemented in Hyderabad. NTRUHS vice-chancellor T Ravi Raju has been appointed as the AACT chairman and also chief transplant coordinator to take care of transplant activities in the state.

“The demand for organ transplantations is growing by the day and hence the government is working in this direction. ‘Jeevandan’ at NTRUHS is the appropriate authority of cadaver transplantation formed by the state government and we will maintain a list of people who are in need of organs like kidneys, liver, eye and lungs. As soon as a person is declared brain-dead, with the consent of family members, his/her organs will be donated to the needy patients,” explained Ravi Raju.

Depending on the requirement and the priorities, the organs will be transported across all the three zones in the state. A handful of hospitals in the state have taken up transplantation of only kidneys while the demand for heart, liver and lungs is quite high as well. “The cadaver transplantation in AP is just confined to kidneys as the liver and heart will be transported to Chennai due to infrastructure constraints and lack of experts in the state,” he said.

An initial corpus fund of Rs 2 crore has been released by the government for taking up steps to implement the programme now that the NTRUHS is housing the AACT office. All the 12 hospitals across the state, which have been approved for carrying out transplantation of human organs by the AACT, will upload details of their waiting list of organ recipients online. In terms of prioritising organ sharing, the GO specifies that if there is a patient, who is a multi-organ recipient, then he or she will gain precedence over others. “We shall inspect the hospitals that apply for permission to take up organ transplantation before approving and also conduct periodical inspections. They hospitals have to renew their permission after five years,” Ravi Raju explained.

The AACT is inviting entries from interested people who have completed graduation and have good communication skills to provide free training for transplant coordinators and grief counsellors, who, in turn, play a major role in counselling and convincing the family members of patients in brain-dead cases. The trained members will be recruited by the registered hospitals as it is mandatory for every hospital to have one transplantation coordinator and grief counsellor.

“However, there is still lack of awareness on the need for organ donation among the public. We are planning to film documentaries, conduct awareness programmes and celebrity campaigns in this regard. The misconceptions of people have to be cleared so that the number of organ donors rises. So far, we have not prepared any plan for the documentaries, but we are going to do it in the coming days,” he summed up.

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