The idea of organ donation in India, compared to many countries in the West, is still in its infancy. Every year many die waiting for an organ. Organ donation saves lives. Stating this in an awareness cum felicitation programme at Army Hospital in New Delhi recently, Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra, GOC-in-C, Western Command said that lack of awareness is one of the prime reasons for low organ donation in the country. The need of the hour is to conduct vigorous and visible campaigns to promote organ donation in the society, he said.
A large number of army personnel and their families attended the awareness programme, where Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra and his wife Mrs Anshul Chachra set an example by pledging their organs for donation. Many donor families were present in the gathering and were felicitated by Mrs Anshul Chachra. The team work in Armed Forces that helped to fly an organ from PGIMER Chandigarh to Army Hospital (Research & Referral) to save the life of a soldier was vividly narrated. The Army Commander in his address exhorted all personnel to pledge their organs for donation and work together for this noble cause.
Armed Forces had taken the initiative to promote organ donation way back in 2007. Armed Forces Organ Retrieval and Transplantation Authority (AORTA) was formed same year to look after all activities related to organ donation and transplantation in the armed forces. Considerable success has been achieved since then with 113 brain death declarations and 37 multiple organ donations at Army Hospital (R&R). The multiple organ donations have facilitated 44 liver (including nine livers obtained from ORBO New Delhi), 70 renal and three heart transplants. These numbers are the highest by and single government institute in the country. Over 8000 soldiers and their families have registered with AORTA pledging their organs in the event of a brain death.