On August 10, 2017, MOHAN Foundation was invited to conduct awareness session on organ donation at ARM Technologies Private Limited, Noida. The session was coordinated by Mr. Piyush Agarwal. The resource person for the session was Ms. Mareena Thomas and was accompanied by Dr. Muneet Kaur Sahi.
ARM is a leading global semiconductor IP designer providing intelligence in the digital world. The center focuses on IP design in specialized areas such as planar and FinFET CMOS technologies and addresses the growing needs of ARM partners.
The session started with Ms. Mareena asking the participants few questions to understand their level of knowledge about organ donation such if they have ever heard of brain death or have they ever wished to pledge to be an organ donor. The participants were told that the main aim of the session was to give them information about organ donation after death and how increased donation rate will help to bridge the gap between demand and supply for organs. She added that if patients suffering from end stage organ failure were able to get organs from dead people, then living people wouldn’t have to go under the knife to give organs to their loved ones. This, in turn, will also reduce the incidences of organ trafficking.
Many participants were concerned if the donated organs would go to the needy or will people who are well off or have a political influence might jump the queue on the waiting list and avail the organ when available. To make them understand, the definition ‘needy’ was redefined. A needy in a case of an organ transplant is someone who needs an organ to live. Adding to that it is a reality that organ transplantation is a costly affair with an expensive operational cost that is followed by lifelong immuno suppressants that burden the recipient with a monthly cost of 10,000/-. Apart from the lifelong medication the recipient also must maintain a healthy life style to ensure that the organ is not rejected. Mr. Lokesh from the facilities team of ARM very emphatically expressed that organ transplantation should be accessible and affordable to all especially the poor. To this Mareena added that AIIMS e.g. has free organ transplantation for below poverty patients and also provides free immuno suppressants for few months. There have been many cases of relapse where the recipient again comes back with a relapse of organ failure because he or she is not able to afford the immuno suppressants. Thus economic stability, blood group, the age of the patient and severity of disease are some factors that must be looked into before deciding the potential recipient of an available donated organ.
The importance of family to give the consent for organ donation after death was explained and was told that one must discuss and convince their family if they wish to be an organ donor.
20 people attended the session and 25 donor cards were picked up.