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On the occasion of Indian Organ Donation Day today, Fortis Healthcare organised a walkathon where leading actor Irrfan Khan and Paralympics medalist Deepa Malik walked with 2000 participants to spread awareness about the need on organ donation.
The 7.5 kilometer long walk started from Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) situated near HUDA City Centre today morning. Walkathons were also held in Mumbai, Chennai and Mohali to raise awareness on organ donation across the nation.
'Fortis-NDTV More to Give Walkathon - A Step towards Organ Donation' was part of the commitment towards the cause of creating awareness around the loss of lives that happen for the want of organs. The objective of the walk was to generate a dialogue about the cause of Organ Donation by taking it to the streets of India where the common man can show their support for the cause. Nationally, as many as 10,000 participants along with leading personalities lent support and joined the walk.
A single donor can save eight lives by donating the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas and small bowel. Also, by donating organs and tissues like eyes, skin, bones etc., a single donor can touch several lives. Over the last five years, the organ donation rate in the country has increased ten-fold from 0.05 to 0.5 per million and is likely to touch the 1 per million population mark in 2016. We have made a start but still have a long way to go.
After an enthusiastic participation, Mr Bhavdeep Singh, CEO, Fortis Healthcare shared, "There is a widening chasm between the demand of organs for people at end stages and their availability. Adding to the complexity is the lack of awareness, simultaneously surrounded by superstitions which present themselves as the key obstacles. Donating organs is a humanitarian cause that will gain momentum with increasing awareness in society. At Fortis, we will continue to contribute as much as we can by educating people and saving more and more lives. This walkathon is a reminder that each one of us has more to give."
Fortis has pioneered the cause as two of its hospitals run the largest heart transplant program in the country. Fortis Malar Hospital, Chennai has performed 122 heart transplants which is maximum for any healthcare provider in Asia. Fortis Hospital at Mulund, Mumbai performed a record 35 heart transplants in a span of little over a year. Since 2012, when the FORT program was initiated, 42 organ donors from 10 Fortis hospitals across the country have already donated a total of 128 organs including 17 hearts, 33 livers, 76 kidneys, 1 lung and 1 pancreas. In addition, 110 pairs of eyes.
Dr Avnish Seth, Director, Fortis Organ Retrieval and Transplant, Fortis Healthcare shared, "Altruism comes easily to us as a nation. The availability of medical expertise, infrastructure and increasing awareness on organ donation, coupled with a thrust from the Government provided by National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) and the landmark Transplant Rules of 2014 are ready to propel India into a new, exciting phase of deceased organ donation.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)