New Delhi, Jan 15: President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday referred to the gap between requirement and availability of organs needed to save lives, saying that while about two lakh liver transplants were needed a year, only a few thousand were done every year.
Addressing the tenth foundation day of the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) and the seventh convocation ceremony here, he admitted that "There is need to establish liver transplant programmes in more public hospitals and ILBS can provide necessary expertise in this regard. But perhaps most crucial is to encourage organ donation and spread awareness about it."
He said the dearth of donors resulted mainly from lack of awareness about organ donation and urged ILBS to prepare a roadmap suggesting ways and means to encourage liver donation, to improve the related procedures and protocols, and to strengthen the infrastructure needed to support a higher number of liver transplants than was currently possible.
The President said the growing incidence of liver diseases was also linked to unhealthy lifestyles. He noted that "at present, nearly one out of four Indians have fatty liver and may be ten per cent of them have liver diseases due to excessive body fat. This condition is known to be a precursor to development of diabetes and heart disease. And diabetics have greater incidence of liver disease than others." It is for institutes like ILBS to take up research that can clarify the linkages between our lifestyle and liver diseases. That would help in developing a preventive care system based in lifestyle changes. (UNI)