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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 130-136

Organ donation – “attitude and awareness among undergraduates and postgraduates of North-East India”

1 Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Guwahati, Assam, India
2 Department of Physics, B. Borooah College, Guwahati, Assam, India
3 Department of Anatomy, NEIGRIHMS, Shillong, Meghalaya, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Bishwajeet Saikia
Department of Anatomy, NEIGRIHMS, Mawdiangdiang, Shillong, Meghalaya
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_206_18

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Background: Organ donation is defined as “When a person allows an organ of theirs to be removed, legally, either by consent while the donor is alive or after death with the assent of the next of the kin.” Common transplantations after organ donations include kidney, heart, liver, pancreas, intestines, lungs, bones, bone marrow, skin, and cornea. Although some organs such as kidney and tissues like part of the liver, pancreas, lungs, and intestines can be donated while the donor is alive, most of the donations occur only after the donor's death. In India, the legislative foundation for brain death and organ donation was officially established, under Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994 amended in 2011. It provided a much-needed legal and transparent system for organ donation. India's organ donation rate (ODR) stands at an abysmal 0.34 per million populations (PMP) when compared with donation rate of 36 PMP in countries like Spain. While in the rest of the country, states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat have made efforts to ramp up their ODR, by facilitating public and private health sector activities, such vision is still a far cry for the states in the North-Eastern part of India. Materials and Methods: This study on awareness of organ donation was conducted in one of the premiere educational institutes at Guwahati. A predesigned performa (questionnaire) was used to collect data from 360 individual, of which 180 participants were undergraduate students and 180 participants were faculties having postgraduate degree. Results: The results show that 79.17% (285) of participants were aware about organ donation, and out of all participants, families of only three have donated organ in the past 5 years. A total number of 12 (3.33%) participants have signed up for organ donation. A significant portion of the study population (12.5%) opined that there might be some religious beliefs which are preventing certain strata of local population from donating or accepting organs. More than half (186) (51.67%) of the study group opined that there is lack of awareness among people which may be one of the reasons for low rates of organ donation. Conclusion: Organ donation programs are at a very primordial stage in India and are almost negligible in its North-Eastern region. It is high time for the policy makers and other stake holders of a global giant like India to understand the magnitude of the benefits from these programs. Making tangible policies that are reflected nationally, emphasizing attention to both the organ donors and recipients, is the need of the hour.

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