UK's NHS ties up with Mohan Foundation for organ donations

For many Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis living in Britain who need an organ transplant, the wait can be gruelling, as very few Asians come forward to donate organs because of a lack of awareness.

To address this problem, a memorandum of understanding has been signed between Indian NGO Mohan Foundation and the UK National Health Service's blood and transplant unit (NHSBT) to increase organ donation rates in India and the United Kingdom.

The MoU was signed in the presence of J Radhakrishnan, principal secretary, health and family welfare, of the government of Tamil Nadu and is the culmination of a consultative meeting for senior transplant coordinators from across the country. The MoU was signed in Chennai on Friday.

This is the second such national meeting to address the learning needs and challenges faced by senior transplant coordinators in the country. Transplant coordinators play a key role in the organ donation pathway and do the most difficult task of supporting and obtaining consent for donation from a grieving family.

Managing trustee Sunil Shroff said that between February 2010 and December 2014, the families of 160 brain-dead patients were counselled about organ donation. 106 families said 'yes,' making the choice to donate the organs of their loved ones to perpetuate life rather than having the organs buried or cremated.

This is a 66-per cent consent or conversion rate, which is comparable to that in the West.

The MoU will be reaffirmed in the UK on 26 February at the House of Lords, and its launch will be led by President of the British Medical Association Baroness Ilora Finlay.