Ms. Anindita Sabath, Transplant Coordinator, MOHAN Foundation, visited Saruali village, Dhenkanal District, Odisha on 12th & 13th February 2018 along with the Field Investigators of ICMR Project under the supervision of Dr. Chittaranjan Kar, Principal Investigator. They visited the families who had patients affected by Chronic Kidney Disease. Their social data was collected. It was seen that majority of the patients did not have lifestyle diseases earlier. Only after being diagnosed, their blood pressure increased. Some were on dialysis and majority were on medication. As the people in the village consumed water from tube-wells and wells, it was observed that the tube-well water was highly contaminated with iron. Therefore, it could be concluded from this observation that contaminated water might be the major cause of CKD in the geographical area.
Ms. Anindita Sabath interacted with all the renal patients and their families and discussed about kidney transplantation. She told them about the benefits of transplantation, pre & post transplantation care, finance included and the adherence to immunosuppression. She also explained how transplantation is more beneficial than being on dialysis. She then discussed about organ donation, who can donate organs, when can one donate organs and most importantly why is organ donation needed. The concept of organ donation was not accepted by all and they showed some resistance but on the second day after interacting the entire day, the result was that the villagers showed some level of confidence towards organ donation. They took brochures out of their own will and some filled up their donor cards under guidance. Moreover, Ms. Anindita interacted with the ASHA worker and gave her detailed information about organ donation. She was also given some brochures and donor cards to distribute among the other villagers during her house visit.
The major challenge faced was initiating the talk of organ donation among the villagers as it is a very sensitive issue and they were completely unknown to medical treatment & diagnosis. Explaining about the concept of brain death was another challenge. Moreover, almost all the villagers had the same question as to how they would benefit if they give consent to donate. Ms. Anindita had to give them detailed information to get a positive response from them in return.
More such visits can be initiated in the future to spread the message of organ donation among the rural people as well.