What can be more fulfilling than giving new life and hope to someone with an organ donation? Use this app to register easily and, should the need arise, leave behind a legacy like none other.
Kriti once saw an advertisement on TV that talked about eye donation and how it allows you to give the beautiful gift of vision to a blind person. She was determined to donate her eyes but was clueless as to how to go about it. Also, all the negative news about organ trade made her wary about reaching out to any organization without checking its authenticity. Confused and unsure, she finally gave up on the idea of signing up for organ donation.
There are hundreds of people like Kriti who think about signing up but, due to lack of information and knowledge, fail to do so. And those who finally get the right information after a lot of research often do not go ahead because of the long and complicated procedure involved.
Presenting the E Donor Card mobile app, which is making organ donation simpler and more transparent.
Launched by Multi Organ Harvesting Aid Network (MOHAN) Foundation, a non-governmental organization that promotes and supports deceased organ donation and transplantation in India, the app enables willing users to get access to a donor card which enables them to pledge their organs and tissues after their death in a simple way.
“We (MOHAN foundation) used to receive many queries from people on how to register for organ donation. People were clueless about the procedure and did not have access to the right resources. Since almost everyone has a smartphone now, we thought about leveraging the technology to launch an app that could not only answer all the queries related to organ donation but also enable them to register for organ donation,” says Sudhir Dewan, Director, MOHAN Foundation.
The E donor card app helps address most of the apprehensions of potential organ donors.
How to donate an organ
- Download the application on your smartphone
- Register on the app with basic details like name, contact details, email and medical history and information on the organ one would choose to donate. Users can sign up to donate multiple organs should they wish to do so. There is also an option called “any part of my body,” which users can select in case they are open to donating all parts of their body.
- Fill in details about medical history of the donor. Information about pre-existing conditions like TB, Cancer, AIDS is also filled in the initial registration form. “No organ is wasted. Though we cannot use the organ of an AIDS patient for a healthy person, it can be used by another AIDS patient. Hence, even though someone has a chronic disease, he or she can donate organs,” says Sudhir.
- After the registration is complete, donor cards are given which make them eligible to donate their organs. In case the situation arises when a person is declared brain dead or dies, his or her family can notify MOHAN foundation and their coordinators contact the relatives to get the entire process facilitated. The app avoids the need to always carry a donor card with you and makes it more user-friendly.
“Organ donation is often a hard step to take — especially when, after the death of a loved one, relatives don’t know what to do and who to contact. But in case they are already aware about the deceased’s desire to donate and know about the app, they can easily notify us. The rest can be taken care of easily, without any confusion or hurdles,” says Sudhir.
Anyone who is 18 years of age or older can register on the app and is eligible to donate.
“It is not easy. Only one out of 10 people agree to donate. This has been a constant challenge and we are trying to spread as much awareness as we can. Even I am an organ recipient and I have a donated liver. I understand how crucial this is,” says Sudhir.
Like Sudhir, most of the team members involved in designing and implementing the project are experts in the field of organ donation and know the challenges people face. Hence, various workshops and awareness sessions are organised to get more people interested in the cause.
The app was launched just three months ago but has already garnered a positive response. Many people from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Maharashtra have come forward to register on the app. The easy-to-install app has been downloaded by about 1000 users already.
“This is just the start. We have a long way to go and many more people to reach out to. We have seen very less interest from the eastern states of the country, for example, and we want to focus our attention there,” adds Sudhir.
Although the idea of the organ donor app is new, MOHAN Foundation’s prior experience in the field came in handy when it came to designing it.
Having started in 1997, MOHAN Foundation has already distributed over 300 million donor cards across the country.
The team has also collaborated with NOTTO – the National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation — to reach out to more people. “We believe the more people we involve, the better reach we’ll have. So we are open to partnerships and people who want to come on board,” says Sudhir.
Apart from making organ donation easy, the app provides crucial information on the issue of organ donation, clearing many myths and superstitions surrounding it. “For example, people believe that if you take out eyes from a dead body, the person will be blind in his/her next birth. We are trying to break such myths and make people understand the importance of this noble cause,” explains Sudhir.
Lately, many young people have been coming forward to sign up for organ donation and have also been sending queries to the organization.
The team organises various programmes in government schools to spread more awareness about the topic. In the future, MOHAN Foundation wants to increase the reach of the app and measure its impact.
To know more about MOHAN Foundation’s work, check out their website.