DLs in Udupi to have an option on organ donation

In a first of its kind in the country, driving licences issued in Udupi district will have the option of ‘organ donor.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the initiative, Deputy Commissioner Dr Vishal R said that those seeking driving licence will be shown at 15-minute clip on the importance of organ donation at the office of the regional transport authority. The applicant or a DL holder can exercise his or her option on organ donation after watching the clip. The initiative is also aimed at making Udupi, an organ donor district.

He said that a person can help seven patients by donating heart, pancreas, liver, kidneys, corneas, lungs and heart. There are two types of transplants - live transplant and cadaver transplant. The multi-organ transplant is the need of the hour, said the deputy commissioner.

Spain is the country where permission to retrieve organs is automatically granted, said the deputy commissioner. Sri Lanka, which was the highest donor of corneas, has decided not to lend corneas outside the country and this will massively affect the demand for corneas across the world, he said. Karnataka will also come up with restrictions not to supply body organs outside the State, he added.

‘Great charity’
Describing organ donation as a great charity, Dr M Dayananda, Medical Superintendent of KMC Manipal said a donor can help several people and also their families. The executive, legislature and judiciary play an important role in promoting organ donation and the administrative set-up should simplify the procedures involved in organ donation. Awareness programmes should be taken up extensively, he added.

He said that KMC Manipal has set-up a committee on brain dead persons comprising a neurosurgeon, a doctor, anesthetist and counsellors. Two counsellors have already been trained and are into service, while another two would shortly join the set-up, he informed.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Annamalai said there is a huge problem pertaining to organ donation and called for a change in the mindset of the people. The process involved in the organ donation is laborious, there is a need to set-up clear data base, he opined.

He said that Udupi, as one of the most literate districts, should be a role model for all other district across the country. District administration has come up with the ideas to ease out the tough and laborious procedures involved, he added.

Priyanka Shylendra, Director Operations, Gift Your Organ Foundation, Bengaluru, said 50,000 people across the country are waiting for heart donors while about 2,000 people are waiting for organs in Karnataka.

The awareness was created among 1.25 lakh people across the State and 49,000 people have come forward to pledge their organs. There is a gradual increase in the number of people coming forward as organ donors. If 60 people become organ donors, 279 people will benefit by this endeavour, she said.

Around 98.6 per cent organ donation pledges in the USA are through driving licence applications. Driver licence cards are carried by most of the people all the time in wallet and in case of accident, the ambulance doctors usually check the wallet for identification and will know that he or she has opted to be an organ donor, she explained.

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