Organ donations surge in Karnataka yet demand outpaces supply

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Karnataka has witnessed a notable increase in organ donations, securing the second position in India with 178 organ donations in 2023. As of 2024, the state has recorded 21 organ donations. Despite this positive trend, the demand for organ transplants remains significantly higher than the supply, leaving thousands awaiting life-saving procedures.

The Health Department released statistics on organ donations, coinciding with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s distribution of certificates of appreciation to the families of organ donors on March 1.  

During the event held at the CM’s residential office, emotional moments unfolded as family members of donors received recognition for their loved ones’ contributions.

While the number of registered organ donors in Karnataka exceeds eight thousand, the challenge lies in closing the substantial gap between the number of donations and the growing demand for transplants. In the period from September 5, 2023, to February 27, 2024, Karnataka reported a notable 20,029 pledges for organ donation through the NOTTO QR code, securing the state the 4th position nationally. However, the stark reality remains that despite over 8,000 people registering for organ donation, only 178 organs were donated in the last year.

The significance of organ donation cannot be overstated, with a single donor capable of saving up to 8 lives by contributing vital organs like the heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas, small intestine, and lungs. Furthermore, tissue donation from the same donor has the potential to impact more than 50 lives.

Despite these life-saving opportunities, the gap between pledges and actual donations in Karnataka raises concerns. The press statement issued by the government emphasizes the need for increased awareness and understanding, stating, “One organ donor can save 8 lives. A heart, two kidneys, liver, pancreas, small intestine, and lungs can be donated. The same donor can save more than 50 lives through tissue donation. There is no age limit for organ donation.” 

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah expressed support for organ donors’ families, emphasizing the government’s commitment to assisting them during challenging times.

Health Minister Dinesh Gundurao highlighted the need for increased awareness about organ donation and acknowledged the efforts of those who have registered for donation. The event aimed to honor and recognize the families of organ donors, encouraging more individuals to come forward and contribute to this life-saving cause.

Despite the progress, there is an ongoing emphasis on creating public awareness to boost organ donation numbers and address the critical shortage in meeting the healthcare needs of those awaiting organ transplants.

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