On February 27, 2020, MOHAN Foundation was invited to conduct an awareness session on organ donation for the employees of Lohia Corp Limited in Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi. The session was organized through an initiative by Dr. Shefali Sood w/o Mr. Nishit Sood, Chair of the Delhi chapter of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Yi (Young Indians). CII Yi is partnering with MF to take forward the cause of organ donation. Dr. Muneet Kaur Sahi was the resource person and Ms. Preeti Goswami accompanied her.
Lohia Corp Limited is the flagship company of the Lohia Group and a global supplier of machinery for end-to-end solutions for plastic woven fabric industry used for packaging systems for solid bulk materials and infrastructure applications. The company was incorporated as Lohia Starlinger Limited in 1981 as a joint venture with Starlinger & Co. GmbH of Austria for manufacturing of Circular Looms. It has changed its name to Lohia Corp Limited in March 2013, consequent to the exit of Starlinger as shareholder.
The session began with Ms. Anvita Sarkari, Manager (Marketing Communications) of Lohia Corp Limited, inviting Dr. Muneet to conduct the talk. A movie titled, ‘Donate organs and save lives’ was shown to the group whose take away message was that death is not the end and one donor can save many lives.
Dr. Muneet then spoke about her association with MOHAN Foundation and its role in creating awareness in the field of organ donation since 1997. She informed how India is lagging behind in organ donations with a donation rate of 0.80 ppm whereas countries like Spain and Croatia are at 45-50 ppm. She then spoke about the consent systems that are followed in the world and defined the opt-in and opt-out system giving examples of countries that follow these systems. She told them that India and USA follow the opt-in system where people have to actively sign up to a register to donate their organs after death. This led to an interesting discussion about whether India should become an opt-out country to increase its donation rate like European countries. In opt-out systems, organ donation will occur automatically unless a specific request is made before death for organs not to be taken.
She then explained the basic concepts of organ donation and transplantation with the help of a simple powerpoint presentation. The following topics were explained in detail:
While on the subject of brain death, a movie was shown to give clarity on the difference between brain death and coma. Myths and facts on organ donation were also discussed.
It was a very interactive session where participants enthusiastically contributed to the discussion and asked many queries. To name a few:
· Who can give consent in cases of unclaimed bodies or if there is no kith and kin?
· If a person can survive with one kidney then why undergo a transplant?
· Organ transplants are only for rich people and not for poor?
· How long a recipient has to take Immunosuppressant drugs after transplant?
· Does size of lung matter in case of a tall person requiring a lung transplant?
At the end of the session, Dr. Muneet explained the importance of eye donation and the whole process of eye donation. She motivated the audience to pledge for eye donation. She also explained how one could pledge to be an organ donor.
The session went on for an hour and was attended by 18 participants. All participants were willing to pledge online to be an organ donor.