The inspiring tale of a social entrepreneur Professor and head of the department, Urology and Renal Transplantation at the Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute D r Sunil Shroff
He likes to call himself an Indian <ul><li>Recently won the TiECON Chennai's Social Entrepreneur of the Year award . </li></ul><ul><li>This award is in recognition of his work as the founder of Mohan Foundation ( Multi Organ Harvesting Aid Network ), an NGO that is involved in popularising organ donation. </li></ul><ul><li>D r. Sunil Shroff was born in Bihar and brought up in Tamil Nadu . He had his medical education in Bihar before moving to the United Kingdom to do his Masters and work there for several years . He came back to India to work in Chennai. With roots in many states in India </li></ul>
Terrifying statistics about brain dead <ul><li>About 140,000 people are involved in road accidents in India every year. Of these, some 67 per cent people suffer head injuries and, possibly , end up brain dead: meaning, almost 93,000 people are brain dead every year. </li></ul>
organ donation <ul><li>Even if all the 93,000 cannot donate their organs, and only 50,000 can, it is still a big number. There are 5-6 or even more brain dead people lying in hospitals in a city at any given time. </li></ul><ul><li>There is a huge pool of organ donors available but because of lack of awareness, organ donation is not happening frequently. </li></ul>
Inspiration behind starting Mohan Foundation <ul><li>After working in the United Kingdom for 12 years, D r. Sunil Shroff came back to India in 1995 and joined the Ramachandra Medical College in Chennai. </li></ul><ul><li>The same year, the Government of India passed a legislation called Transplantation of Human Organs and this allowed not only living people, but also those who are brain dead to donate their organs. On ce the legislation was passed, transplant of heart, liver, k idney, pancreas, etc was made possible. We have a high incidence o f diabetes (120 million) and hypertension (8 % o f the population) in India, and 50 per cent of kidney failu re s are due to hypertension and diabetes. </li></ul>
From one brain dead person, 50-60 people can be benefited <ul><li>Every year 150,000-200,000 patients need kidney transplantation but, at present, we are only transplanting 3,000-4,000 kidneys. So, there is a huge gap between demand and supply. We need to find solutions to this huge problem. </li></ul><ul><li>When eye donation drive started 20 years back, the concept was new, but today people are well aware of the importance of donating eyes after death. There has to be an attitude shift in donating organs too. It is out of ignorance and lack of awareness that organs are not being donated in India. </li></ul>
Mohan Foundation was formed on the January 12, 1997, al though the idea was conceived in 1995-96
First, Public Education <ul><li>After starting Mohan Foundation in Chennai in a small way, the first three years were spent on public education. As Mohan Foundation was an NGO, Dr. Sunil put in some money and also got donations from friends and raised some funds from other sources. </li></ul><ul><li>Simultaneously, M ohan Foundation published a donor card and also a quarterly newsletter on organ donation so that the foundation could spread the news among the public, doctors and patients. </li></ul>
Honouring the donor families Dr. Sunil Shroff was involved with the first organ donation in 1996 at Ramachandra Medical College. This was a 12-year-old boy who died of snake bite. Dr. Sunil transplanted boy’s kidneys into two ladies suffering from kidney failure. After that, there were many organ donations After that, Mohan Foundation formed a network -- Indian Network of Organ Sharing -- so that when there are multiple organs available in a hospital, these organs could be distributed in a fair and ethical manner to those who are in need of them, that is, wherever the needy patients are. Now, Mohan Foundation has branches in Mumbai, Visakhapatanam and Coimbatore, but requests are pouring in from many cities -- like Delhi, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Jaipur, and Solapur. In 2002, Mohan Foundation started an office in Hyderabad when some hospitals there came to know about the work we were doing in Chennai.
Counseling is most important Once Mohan Foundation comes to know that there is a brain dead person in a hospital, and two doctors certify that he is indeed brain dead (two certifications, with a gap of six hours, are required), our counselors start talking to the family. The most important thing in organ donation is counseling the family. When they go through one of the most traumatic moments of their life, foundation counselors have to start talking. Sometimes counsellors get shouted at, abused and even beaten. But Mohan Foundation counsellors are trained to talk in the right way. Mohan Foundation is the only organisation in the whole of Asia that has training programmes for counsellors. So far we it has trained 105 counsellors in the country. Once a family agrees for organ donation, foundation counsellors remain with them throughout the organ donation and even after that. Organs are given to only the patients in the registry and it is done based strictly on the waiting list. There are almost 900 patients waiting for kidneys. Same is the case with liver and heart too. Mohan Foundation then call the different hospitals where these patients are. It is very transparent and done in the most ethical way so that the organs go to the right patient.
Mohan Foundation is working with the government of India and many other states, trying to fill the gaps so that more and more people come forward for organ donation. Most of it’s recommendations to the government of India have been accepted. Mohan Foundation, as an NGO, have done 500 organ donations from which 1,500 organs have come. In India, we are doing only 0.08 per million organ donation rate, and we are a country 1.1 billion people. If we do 1 per million rate, we will have 1,100 donors. If we have 1,100 donors, there will be 2,200 kidneys, 1,100 hearts, livers, etc. Spain has 35 per million organ donation. Developing countries like Greece, Turkey, etc have 3-4 per million donations. Why can't we do a little more? The aim at Mohan Foundation is to go pan-India and try and increase the rate to 1 per million. In Tamil Nadu, Mohan Foundation has managed to do 1 per million.