Covid-19 has hit deceased donor programme: Vardhan

Covid-19 has had hugely negative impact on deceased donor programme: Harsh Vardhan

He said no age, caste, religion, community, belief should come as an obstacle in a task as divine as that of donating organs

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. Credit: PTI Photo

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday said that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a hugely negative impact on the deceased donor programme and encouraged people to donate their organs.

On the occasion of National Organ Donation Day, he said no age, caste, religion, community, belief should come as an obstacle in a task as divine as that of donating organs.

"A large number of people die due to non-functioning of organs. According to the national health portal, about 5 lakh people die every year due to non-availability of organs. I also want to say here that no age, caste, religion, community, belief should ever come as an obstacle in a task as divine as that of donating organs," he was quoted as saying in a statement by the health ministry.

"If a person below 18 years of age wishes to donate organ, he can do so with the consent of his parents or guardian. The goal of this campaign is to remove the fear of organ donation by spreading awareness through webinars, seminars and workshops and aiming at the root of the problem by granting acceptance to organ donation," Vardhan added.

Noting the Covid-19 pandemic has had a hugely negative impact on the deceased donor programme in India, he said, "National events such as the Indian Organ Donation Day where we recognise the selfless contribution made by deceased donors to healthcare and mankind re-instill our faith in humanity."

He said Tamil Nadu performed 295 transplantations out of which 76 were lung transplants performed mostly on patients who suffered acute forms of Covid-19.

"With 12,666 organs transplanted in 2019, India ranked third in the world as per data available on the WHO Global Observatory on Donation and Transplantation (GODT) website. This exemplary performance by states and healthcare professionals in our country should be encouraged at every step so that the curve keeps following an upward trend," Vardhan said.

As a gesture of gratitude, he read out the names of donors from every state whose death rekindled the lives of others.

On the occasion, 79,572 soldiers, who have been named by CRPF as 'Angadan warriors', duly filled their pledge forms to donate their eyes, skin, lungs, heart, liver, pancreas, kidneys, heart valves and intestines after death.

"They exemplify the spirit of service to the nation even after death," Vardhan said.