Organ transplantation is a viable treatment option for a number of otherwise fatal diseases. It gives a second-life to a terminally ill individual. The Armed Forces Medical Services has the infrastructure and expertise to conduct organ transplantation. Unfortunately, the limiting factor in successful organ transplantation program has been the acute shortage of available organs for transplantation. Every year thousands die waiting for a transplant due to lack of organs. The only answer to this vexing problem lies in organ donation. India, with an organ donation rate of 0.6/million population, has one of the lowest organ donations in the world. Lack of awareness is the reason for this low rate of donation. There is an urgent need to increase awareness in the population on organ donation.
Indian Air Force has taken the lead in promoting organ donation in the country. A small but significant step towards this noble cause was taken by Air Force on 12 Dec 2016. A seminar was held at the Air Force auditorium to increase awareness and promote organ donation among the population. Around 500 air warriors and their families joined hands to strengthen the organ donation movement in the country, especially in Indian Air Force. The seminar was organised by Air Force Central Medical Establishment under the aegis of Directorate General Medical Services (Air). The Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Air Command was the chief guest for the event. The august gathering was welcomed by the DGMS (Air). He emphasised the need to increase awareness on organ donation and laid out the blueprint to carry forward the movement. Subsequent speakers and panelists explained to the people what is organ donation, why it is needed, how it can be done and the challenges and opportunities facing the organ donation movement in India. Organ recipients who got a second life with transplant through donated organs shared their experiences and feelings towards life and the unknown donors. Various assembled dignitaries pledged their organs and set an example to all others. The chief guest reiterated the importance of this organ donation movement and exhorted one and all to pledge their organs and make a difference to mankind.
There can be nothing nobler than giving life to somebody. Organ Donation is a gift of life. Become an organ donor. With this sentiment the event was brought to a conclusion. Hundreds of people assembled in the auditorium, later pledged their organs. This event was a beginning. The movement will continue within Air Force with various activities planned for the year ahead.