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'Political leaders, celebrities should lead by example and pledge to donate organs'

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: July 25, 2019  | 22:43 IST

New Delhi, Jul 25 (PTI) Celebrities and political leaders should lead by example and pledge to donate organs, as mere advocacy will not suffice, doctors said on Thursday. They said it could be a "total game changer" leading to saving of thousands of lives, who otherwise die of lack of organ donation. A private group held a press conference here during which several doctors shared their views on the subject and the situation in the country. Sandeep Attawar, Director and Chair of the Heart and Lung Programme, at the facility, said, "Celebrities, leaders and all of us need to step up for spreading awareness as agents of change. Mere advocacy would not suffice. We need to lead by example by pledging organs ourselves". The programme is credited with "169 transplants in the past 25 months," Gleneagles Global Hospitals group claimed. Various socio-cultural factors such as lack of awareness, lack of faith in the healthcare system, religious beliefs and superstitions, among others, are the biggest factors why families refuse to give consent for organ donation in the country, the doctors said. "There is a need for the government to conduct a wide-reaching public information campaign to focus on the vital need for more organs, the need to discuss organ donation with family members, dispel pre-existing misconceptions about organ donation process, bring about an attitude change in the approach towards deceased organ donations, and also address the infrastructural bottlenecks," the hospital said. Attawar said consider heads of state, prominent political leaders and celebrities calling out to people that they have pledged their organs, and exhorting others to do the same "it would be a total game changer leading to saving of thousands of lives". The awareness levels we have noticed in southern and western parts of the country is tremendous, which we need to spread to the north Indian states as well, the doctors said. With rapid advances in technology, timely intervention precise medications and surgical procedures, increasing number of heart and lung transplant recipients are living longer than ever before, the hospital said. PTI CORR/KND KJ

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