Digital database of organ donors on cards

NEW DELHI: The government plans to create a national digital organ donor register, which will maintain a confidential record of prospective donors, said people with knowledge of the matter.

It is likely to be taken up as part of the near-term agenda and could be rolled out by the end of the year, they said.

The move, on the lines of the national population register, is aimed at building a comprehensive database of available organ donors to meet increasing demand for organ transplant in the country.

A senior government official told ET that the data will be stored digitally, as against being maintained manually, with personal details of the individuals and their medical history for timely and hassle-free organ donation.

The register will serve as a single platform with Aadhaar authenticated data for all donors and patients waiting for organ transplant to ensure in-time and transparent organ donation in the country while doing away with the middlemen.

India has 0.14 million potential donors who have voluntarily pledged their organs and the government aims to have 10 million prospective donors by the end of 2024 under the Angdaan Mahotsav, which started in July 2023.


Stakeholder ministries and government departments, including the health and family welfare ministry, home affairs ministry, NITI Aayog, the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) and the National Health Authority, have deliberated upon similar registers available elsewhere in the world and developed an India-specific registry. The register is likely to give a choice to prospective donors to nominate someone to make an organ donation decision on their behalf and every individual registered on the portal will get an organ donation card, said the official cited earlier. It will be a centralised database with access of data to only relevant stakeholders to ensure data privacy, the official said. As per the NOTTO data, India witnessed 16,041 organ transplants in 2022, as against the wait list of nearly 500,000 organ failure recipients.

Besides, there were 1,028 deceased donors in 2023, as against 941 in 2022.

It is estimated that India has less than one donor per million population compared to 35 in the US and 50 in Spain.

A deceased organ donor can save up to eight lives by donating the heart, two lungs, pancreas, two kidneys and intestine.

Harry Byrne

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