SCB Receives Record 234 Body Donation Pledges

CUTTACK: The SCB Medical College and Hospital (SCBMCH) on Friday received a record of 234 pledges for body donation to be used in medical education and research.

It is a very welcome sign of voluntary body and organ donation assuming pace in the State but the premier medical institution finds itself in a quandary over lack of capabilities to take care of increasing flow of bodies.

The much-needed Embalming Centre for handling and preserving bodies continues to remain in papers even after a lapse of two years since the State Government officially notified SCBMCH as such. The Anatomy Department is ready with the building and space for the facility but the wait for infrastructure, equipment and manpower continues to be drawn longer and longer.

The Body and Organ Donation Initiative (BODI) on Friday received 234 pledges, an all India highest in terms of receipts by a medical college on a single day. The people who have pledged their bodies for use in medical education after their death come from different walks of life and were aged between 18 and 87.

The Anatomy Department has also received more than 100 pledges from individual citizens since the Odisha Anatomy (Amendment) Act 2012 came into force in February 2013 legalising body donations and simplifying procedures for the same. While it has started receiving pledged bodies, availability of cadavers of unclaimed bodies has also gone up after simplification of rules.

The Embalming Centre under this situation is an urgent necessity for ensuring that the cadavers are properly preserved and optimally used in education, training and research. The authorities of the department have submitted a requirement of two mortuary coolers and allied equipment along with chemicals. The centre will also require independent manpower in the form of a Professor and other faculty members, attendants and technical personnel. No action has been taken by the Government on the front, sources said.

The inaction can derail the much-needed movement which has begun to pick up in the State. “The Government should speed up infrastructure provisioning and make the Embalming Centre functional as soon as possible,” said BODI convenor Pravas Acharya.

The donors have also demanded an identity card from Government and arrangements for transport of body cadaver from their place of death to the medical colleges.

“The movement will hopefully expand gradually to encompass cadaveric organ donation too. Inter-departmental coordination should be strengthened for motivating and mobilising people who pledge their bodies on this aspect,” Head of Anatomy Prof Chinmayee Mohapatra opined.