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98% kidney transplant patients still await a compatible organ donor in India

Even as the live kidney transplant programme in India has evolved in the past several years and is currently the second largest after the US in terms of volume, the country, with all its major kidney transplant hospitals put together, does close to 6000 procedures a year despite a total annual requirement of about 3 lakh. According to the latest estimate from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the country’s annual requirement for kidney transplant currently ranges between 2-3 lakhs, with a mere 2 percent occurring in reality, mainly due to the critical shortage of compatible kidneys, and the remaining 98 percent are still awaiting a suitable donor with just about 15000, including deceased and living, donors available on an average.  Lack of general awareness about organ donation and hesitation from the family members are the key limitations in expanding the donor pool.

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