While the state cadavar organ transplantation authority — Jeevandan — reached a milestone by ensuring donated organs and tissues from 241 brain-dead patients gave the gift of life to 1,000 beneficiaries, they have been unable to convince a single Muslim about the need for organ donation.
Their records show that since its inception in 2013, Jeevandan authorities donated organs like kidneys and liver to as many as 39 patients from the Muslim community. But when it comes to organ donation, the response is lukewarm.
The story is the same from 2013-2016 as none of the 1,000 plus organs and tissues donated to Jeevandan by the relatives of 241 brain-dead patients recorded in those years respectively came from a Muslim donor.”We are looking for an ambassador from the Muslim community to take up the cause of organ donation but have not yet succeeded. Though a few prominent individuals from the community are supporting the cause of organ donation, it is not working ,” said Dr G Swarnalatha, coordinator, Jeevandan.
In fact, Jeevandan authorities encountered difficulty in roping in a couple of hospitals run by minorities to be part of their network of Organ Transplantation Centre and Non Transplant Organ Harvesting Centre for several months even as they run out of time to arrange kidneys and livers to 2,489 registered end-stage patients.
Incidentally, awareness about organ donation by top leaders including Nampally MLA Jaffer H Meraj has not met with success despite the fact that he publicly signed Jeevandan donor card to make a point last year.
“There is religious objection to organ donation,” explained Eshwar U, transplant coordinator, Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills.
But there is a silver lining as a few organ recipients want to change the trend for the better.
“I got a gift of new life when I got a liver for transplantation from the family of a 53-year-old brain-dead Hindu woman on June 9, 2015,” said Mohd Shareef, 28, beneficiary of the first free liver transplant conducted by the Osmania General Hospital.
But when informed about lack of organ donors from Muslim community, Shareef, a resident of Mylavaram mandal in Kadapa district told TOI that not just him but his entire family members and friends hold organ donation as a sacred duty.
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