MOHAN Foundation was invited by “Sky Shielders” - a unit of Western Command, Jhansi on January 29, 2018 to conduct an awareness session for the families of the unit. Ms. Mareena Thomas, Programme Officer, MOHAN Foundation was the resource person for the talk. She was accompanied by Mr. Pawan Shekhawat, Transplant Coordinator MF. Two separate talks were conducted, first for the officers and latter for their wives. The talk was coordinated by Mr. Ram Niwas. The talk was initiated by Mr. Ram Niwas, a jawan whose brother-in-law had undergone a kidney transplanted. He had attended the session in Chandigarh last year when it was conducted by MOHAN Foundation’s Chandigarh office and wished that his unit in Jhansi could also be sensitized by this life saving cause.
Ms. Mareena began the session by giving a brief outline of the activities of MOHAN Foundation. She then introduced the concept of organ donation and transplantation. She enquired from the participants if they had heard about organ donation. Many people raised their hands in affirmative. How many of them had heard about brain death few of them were aware about the term. The jawans shared one of their friends suffering from end stage organ failure having received a kidney through cadaver donation in Tamil Nadu. While during the session conducted for the wives, Ram Niwas’s wife shared about his brother-in law’s kidney transplantation where the donor the sister. With the help of these two examples Ms. Mareena was able to bring into light the prevalence of organ failure in our country and urged everyone to take up organ donation that could easily save minimum eight lives after death.
Then she asked about the difference in Coma and Brian death mostly was confused and was thinking the same for both. Which organs can be donated after death, the answers came thick and fast like eyes, kidneys, liver and heart.
A short film on brain stem death was shown to the group and were explained how organ donation is possible only in the case of brain death. Following this various questions were asked by the participants.
She explained brain stem death and how a person is declared brain dead by four different doctors that have nothing to with transplantation. Only the hospitals that are registered with the state appropriate authority can undertake transplantation. She also explained about the Transplantation of Human Organs Act 1994 that legalized brain stem death thereby facilitating organ procurement from heart beating brain stem dead donors.
She also emphasized on the fact that pledging by signing a donor card or filling up an organ donor pledge form, in both the situations it is important to bring the family in consensus with one’s wishes, as their decision will be considered final. The participants were also told about National Organ Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO), an apex centre for all India activities of coordination and networking for procurement and distribution of organs and tissues donation and transplantation in the country. They were also encouraged to fill the government pledge form number 7 that requires the signature of one of their family members, thus initiating a discussion with the family members. While majority of the men took the donor cards enthusiastically, it was observed that women were little hesitant.
There were 300 participants and 160 donor cards were picked up.