Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Mike Rees in India to help remove obstacles to kidney exchange

The Times of India reports:
Paired kidney donations may mitigate patients’ agonizing wait

"On Tuesday, at an event organized by Gift Your Organ Foundation, Dr Michael Rees, CEO, Alliance for Paired Kidney Donation, USA, and Dr Eric Velez, founder of ProRenal, a Mexico-based organization, discussed the possibilities of paired kidney transplants that can be a solution for Indian patients. The duo played key roles in making the world's first-ever global paired transplant possible.
"The US, in 2017, brought required amendments to its National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) to allow paired donations. Alliance for Paired Kidney Donation has a transplant matching software that does the matching between donors and recipients.

"In Mexico, 1.2 lakh people suffer from end-stage renal disorder and only 2600-2800 patients undergo transplants every year, said Dr Eric Velez.

"Shalini Rajneesh, principal secretary, health and family welfare, said Alliance for Paired Kidney Donation agreed to share their software with the Jeeva Sarthakate Society of Karnataka (earlier known as ZCCK) for free. The state-owned society works on organ transplants and coordinates with patients awaiting organs through the registry. "The software does a perfect match between donors and recipients to allow the swap transplant," she said.

"Asked if the legal framework allows live kidney donation between unrelated donors, she said as a long-term plan, the government will look into the issues and bring in required amendments. The main barrier is people do not want to donate and there is a need to create awareness, she added.

"Currently, transplants among unrelated donors are put through a series of checks to ensure that it does not lead to kidney racket.

'Transplants between spouses getting tougher'

"Dr Sankaran Sundar, a nephrologist who has coordinated more than 2,500 transplants so far, said the existing legal framework makes it difficult for patients to pursue transplants among unrelated donors.

"Karnataka has seen only six swap kidney transplants. Even among the spousal donors (when the couple want to share a kidney), it's been difficult to get approval from the authorization committee. When the kidney transplant is between a father/mother and son/daughter, or between siblings, it's easy to establish relationship. But when it is between a couple, it's tough, as marriage certificate has also been found to have been doctored in many cases," said Dr Sankaran Sundar."

Here's another account, from the Deccan Chronicle
Bengaluru: Path-breaking tech to facilitate kidney transplants

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