The Zonal Transplant Coordination Center, Mumbai is a registered body with the charity commissioner and formed by the Appropriate authority by a government resolution in the year 2001. It consists of CEO of all the recognized hospitals, NGOs, Experts in the transplant surgery of various organs, prominent citizens of the city.
What does your organization do?
ZTCC (Zonal Transplant Coordination Center) is a non-governmental organization that was started for promoting cadaver organ donation. The main objective of the organization is to implement the deceased donor program as per THOA (Transplantation of Human Organ Act) 1994. We also ensure that the available cadaveric organs are distributed fairly and equally. We aim to increase patient access to state of art transplant technology.
The Zonal Transplant Co-ordination Center was formed as per the Maharashtra Govt. resolution to co-ordinate, monitor and supervise the Deceased Donor Organ Transplant programme in Mumbai and its suburbs. We create a transplant registry and maintain computerized waiting list of recipients for each organ.
The ZTCC, Mumbai, maintains the computerized waiting list, blood group wise, for each organ like kidney, liver, heart and lung, as per the priority criteria given in the Maharashtra State guidelines. All the registered transplant hospitals send the information of the patients who require organ in the prescribed form for listing. For kidney, each patient is given priority score as per the Govt. guidelines.
For liver, the priority is mainly as per the blood group and date of registration, if there is no patient in super urgent category. The patient’s name is registered through the hospital and the patients cannot get registered directly to the ZTCC. When the organ is available, it is offered to the patient only in the hospital from where it is registered with the ZTCC.
The ZTCC does Organ Distribution as per the state priority criteria. When there is a brain death in a registered hospital, the ZTCC is informed. The first kidney goes to the donor hospital patient having the highest priority score in that blood group. The second kidney is offered to the patient on city waiting list as per the priority score. The liver is first offered to the patient listed in the super urgent category (this listing is done after the expert committee approval). If there is no super urgent category patient, then the liver is offered to the donor hospital. If there is no patient from the same blood group on the hospital list, then the liver is offered to the city waiting list. The priority criteria for liver are blood group and date of registration.
The ZTCC co-coordinators contact the hospital co-coordinators who inform the patients about the availability of the organ. The distribution report and reason for refusal are written and filed in the ZTCC office.
We organize several awareness activities too. The ZTCC, Mumbai has been promoting organ donation by conducting various awareness activities.
Apart from that, we also distribute pamphlet and donor card distribution, put up stalls at community meetings, Ganesh mandals, Navratri Utsav, colleges, corporate, etc.
When was it founded?
It was formed as a co-ordinating agency for Deceased Donor Transplantation for Mumbai and its suburbs in 2001. It was formed as per the Maharashtra State Guidelines issued for cadaver transplant in 1999. It is registered under the charity commissioner.
Who were the founders?
The hospital heads of the registered transplant tospitals, the representatives of Director of Health Services and Director of Medical Education and Research, the representatives of member NGOs were the members of Governing Council.
The founder members were:
Mr. Julio Rebiero President
Dr. Vatsala Trivedi Hon. General Secretary
Dr. Nilesh Doctor Jt. Gen. Secretary
Dr. Bharat Pathak Hon. Treasure
Col. Satnam Singh Member
Dr. G. B.Daver Member
Why was it founded?
The cadaver organ donation in Mumbai lacked a uniformed body that coordinated with hospitals and patients. As per the Maharashtra state Guidelines, a co-coordinating agency was required to co-ordinate, supervise and regulate the Deceased Donor Transplantation in Mumbai. ZTCC was founded with the aim to increase awareness about cadaver organ donation among the people, thus increasing the transplant rates in the city.
How big is your organization and what does your team comprise of?
The ZTCC comprises of:
The Executive Committee
President Dr .G.B. Daver
Gen. Secretary Dr.Sujata Patwardhan
Vice President Dr. Narendra Trivedi
Dr. S. K. Mathur
Joint Secretary Dr. Jatin Kothari
Dr. Sanjay Nagaral
Treasurer Dr. Bahrat Pathak
Chairperson Kidney Dr. M. M. Bahadur
Dr. Shrirang Bichu
Chairperson Liver Dr. Sanjay Nagaral
Co- chairperson liver Dr. Sudeep Shah
DHS, Assit. Director (THOA) Dr. Kempi Patil
DMER Dr. Ambhore
Hospital heads of the member hospitals
Kidney Sub Committee
One physician and one surgeon from each member hospital are nominated as committee members.
Liver Sub Committee
One physician and one surgeon from each member hospital are nominated as committee members.
Where are your offices?
The ZTCC Mumbai office is located in Sion, Mumbai. This is the only office we have. Our office address:
Zonal Transplant Co-ordination Center
LTMG Hospital (Sion Hospital),
College Building, Room No. A/29, Near Skin Bank,
Sion (West), Mumbai – 400022.
What are the activities that your organization does? (Growing awareness, grief counseling, transplant coordination, training, public interest litigation and more)
Our main aim is to increase awareness about cadaver organ donation. We regularly conduct awareness talks, workshops, pamphlet distribution, etc. at hospitals, religious places, residential societies, corporate offices, educational institutes, etc. Here is a list of our main activities:
1) Maintain city waiting list of the patients requiring organs like kidney, liver, heart, lungs etc. (Except skin, eyes, bones and tissues)
2) Distribute the organ to the recipients as per the Maharashtra State Guidelines Score
3) Coordinate, if any request for organ donation in Mumbai
4) Sensitization of professionals on deceased donor transplantation by conducting CMEs and Training programs
5) Public Awareness: The ZTCC, Mumbai has been promoting organ donation by conducting various awareness activities.
6) Awareness Talks: ZTCC representatives talk or give power point presentations on organ donation at corporate offices, social groups like Rotary club, Lion’s club, Mahila mandals, Ganesh mandals, community gatherings, etc.
7) Participate in rallies and marathon
8) Co-ordinate for role plays, street plays, etc., on organ donation with the help of college students, office workers, etc.
9) The ZTCC members have written newspaper reports and articles in magazines to promote organ donation
What type of partnerships do you have locally, regionally and globally?
We collaborate with other NGOs to promote organ donation. Our member NGOs are Narmada Kidney Foundation, National Liver Foundation, National Association of the Blind (India), Apex Kidney Foundation, and BAHENA (a charitable trust). We have conducted transplant coordinators’ training program in Mumbai with MOHAN Foundation. We had invited DTI Team members (Barcelona, Spain) to analyze the deceased donor transplant in Mumbai.
What have been the achievements since inception?
Presently 32 Hospitals and 7 NGOs are the members of ZTCC. We have distributed and coordinated 324 kidneys and 70 livers transplant through ZTCC, Mumbai from 1997 to December 2013.
How many donations has your organization been involved with? Can you give us details?
We have co-ordinated around 150 donations in the city through our member hospitals.
What has been the response to the campaigns done by the foundation?
Awareness at community group levels through talks and stalls. We have received huge positive response from every place; however, we do not maintain the registry of donor cards given.
Are there any interesting stories related to either donors or recipients that you would like to share?
Yes, we have several interesting donor and recipient stories, but we need permission from the recipients and the donor families to share it here.
What are the plans for your organization moving forward?
We are planning to expand for maintaining registry of waiting patients at state level if the Government of Maharashtra gives the authority to do so. We want to build alliances to work in coordination with other NGOs promoting organ donation.
Causes, Issues and Challenges
What is your view on the state of Cadaver Organ Donation in India?
The state of cadaver organ donation in India is really poor. The figure of organ donation in India is very less as compared to the western countries. We need more public as well as professional awareness and sensitization to improve deceased organ donation.
How does your organization address the cause?
We promote, coordinate and assist in the process of organ donation in the city of Mumbai. Also, we interact at macro level in order to improve the status of cadaver organ donation. It was due to ZTCC’s efforts that the Government of Maharashtra issued Government orders on organ donation in September 2013.
What type of changes have you seen recently in your location, region and across India respectively?
Unfortunately, the rate of donation has not improved considerably, but more and more hospitals are registered as transplant centers and Non Transplant Organ Retrieval Centers. We see improvement in more and more cases referred to ZTCC, where many families come forward for organ donation.
What according to you is the reason for this change?
The major reason for this change is media coverage on the lack of organs for transplant, especially after the demise of Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh. Today, people are more aware about organ donation.
What is the need of the hour for COD in India?
Today, there is a dearth of organs. In the city of Mumbai, 2839 patients are on waiting list for kidney and 188 patients for liver. This is mostly because the transplant policy in India is not very clear. It is high time that each hospital defines their transplant policy in black and white. Also, rather than a city registry, a regional and a national registry would be more helpful.
What has been the reaction of the masses, influencers, donor families, and recipients towards your cause?
The society is open to the concept of saving lives by donating organs after death. We get queries about donor cards from people when some article about organ donation is published in newspapers. Even some donor families are keen to promote organ donation. However, the society is not very familiar with the concept of brain death. This needs to be changed.
How can the various stakeholders – Govt, NGOs, Medical fraternity, Social Workers, Masses work together to improve the situation for COD in India?
The various NGOs and the Government should come together to promote organ donation. Nationwide mass media campaigns for deceased organ donation on television and internet would have a great impact.
What is the single biggest issue for COD in India?
There is little professional sensitization among the medical staff. Also, there is no established system at the hospital level to identify brain death and approach a potential donor family. Another issue would be limited public awareness about brain death and organ donation.
What is your view on government policy and effort towards Cadaver Organ Donations in India?
The government needs to take more efforts in defining the process of cadaver organ donation. There needs to be clear guidelines regarding the medico-legal organ donation policies in the state of Maharashtra.
What are the main challenges and issues in the private healthcare segment towards Cadaver Organ Donation?
In Mumbai, most of the cadaver organ donations are from private health care sectors.
What nature of help would your organization like to have?
We would require help for the maintenance of ZTCC websites as well as better software to maintain and update recipient data. A better infrastructure for starting a helpline is also required.