Interview with Dr. Saudan Singh

Dr. Saudan Singh, Director, National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO), answered questions on the role of NOTTO in the upcoming years.

What is the NOTTO’s main aim and how is it going to be functioning exactly?

NOTTO’s main Aim is ‘No organ should get wasted’ through creating national level networking of hospitals and creating national registry/waiting list of patients who need organs and tissues. This can be executed with the help of ROTTO and SOTTO.

How far have you progressed in your mission? Setting up of ROTTO’s SOTTO’s etc. When do you see it set up fully and operational?

Networking of Delhi / NCR hospitals has been done. We are in process to register all over India’s hospital doing transplant/retrieval of organs and tissues. We have spotted 5 ROTTO and 6 SOTTO across INDIA till date. NOTTO is functional and as ‘Health is a state subject’ hence we need coordination from states government to become fully operational.

Do you foresee a scenario where all hospitals will willingly participate with NOTTO? How many private hospitals do you have on board?

NOTTO has a vision of networking of hospital across all over India including rural as well as urban areas. Currently, in Delhi / NCR approximately 22 private hospitals are registered with NOTTO.

Have hospitals set up a system where they will collaborate together with NOTTO? Have you encountered any difficulties in roping them in?

Answer: Networking of hospitals is going on through NOTTO website i.e. www.notto.nic.in . Currently, Delhi hospitals are registered and registration of other state’s hospitals is going on. Registered hospitals are sending data to NOTTO through website. Creating networking across India is a challenging job and time taking process and we are facing some hurdles in coordination and communication. But still we are going towards our objectives.

Question: Apart from the procurement and allocation of organs, you are also setting up a national donor registry. Can you tell us a bit about that? How does it work? Can people log in and sign up for a card already? When do they receive the card? Is it an easy process?

NOTTO is also creating National Donor Pledge Registry. Any person across India can take organ donation pledge through our website i.e. www.notto.nic.in and can also take offline pledge by downloading offline pledge form available on our website and send it to NOTTO office by post. Donor card sent to donors by post through NOTTO. NOTTO also has 24X7 helpline number 1800-11-4770 to ask any query regarding organ donation / online and offline pledge or any other query.

What other awareness on organ donation are you planning to do?

• National Level Competition for LOGO of NOTTO, Donor Card & Slogan writing through Mygov.
• Messages to mobilize public in general on the issues related to Organ Donation through Mobile SMS.
• Stall with two volunteers at Safdarjung Hospital on every Monday for the promotion of Organ Donation.
• News Paper Advertisement for the announcement of NOTTO website & it’s 24*7 toll-free helpline number.
• Participate in IITF 2015 at health pavilion with Various IEC Activities.
• Production of Audio Video spots on Organ Donation and Telecasts/Broadcast of prepared audio & video spots etc.

Will you be having a training programme for transplant coordinators? If yes, then where all will you have it and who will do the training?

NOTTO has organized a training of Transplant Coordinators on 20-24 July 2015. We have given National Unique ID number to all those trained transplant coordinators. We are under process of developing a National Standardized course curriculum for the training of Transplant Coordinators. This National curriculum will be used all over the country and replicate all other institute conducting training of transplant coordinator.

What all will you be storing in your tissue bank and when will it be operational?

We have 4 tissue banks (Cornea, Skin, Heart Valves, and Bones) available at NOTTO, not operational yet. We are in process to make them operational.

Tell us a bit about skin donation and storage? Will there be a scenario where skin donations will happen at the home of a person who has died? Like eye donation.

Anyone donate skin irrespective of sex and blood group, the minimum age of the donor should be 18 years but there is no upper age limit, even a 102 years old has donated skin.

Exclusion criteria for the collection of skin is the person should not have transmissible diseases like Hepatitis, HIV, skin cancer or skin disease.

Storage of skin: Skin is harvested by using special instrument called Dermatome. It is a battery operated instrument made exclusively for skin harvesting only. Skin bank team will come home or hospital wherever the donor is kept. Skin is harvested from both legs thighs and back.

Skin is preserved in 85% glycerol solution, it is stored between 4-5 degree Celsius and it can be stored for a period of 5 years.

Is there a message you’d like to send to hospitals, doctors and transplant coordinators around India?

All the hospitals, doctors, transplant coordinators across India working for this noble cause, we all have to work as a team without limitation of region / state / language. Our main aim is not even a single organ or tissue should get wasted. We have to utilize maximum of organs available and to save lives.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about NOTTO and your plans?

National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) has following two divisions:

“National Human Organ and Tissue Removal and Storage Network”
“National Biomaterial Centre”.

The National Network division of NOTTO would function as apex centre for All India activities of coordination and networking for procurement and distribution of Organs and Tissues and registry of Organs and Tissues Donation and Transplantation in the country. The following activities would be undertaken to facilitate Organ Transplantation in the safest way in shortest possible time and to collect data to develop and publish National registry:-

At National Level:

• Lay down policy guidelines and protocols for various functions.
• Network with similar regional and state level organizations.
• All registry data from States and Regions would be compiled and published.
• Creating awareness, promotion of organ donation and transplantation activities.
• Co-ordination from procurement of organs and tissues to transplantation when organ is allocated outside the region.
• Dissemination of information to all concerned organizations, hospitals and individuals.
• Monitoring of transplantation activities in the Regions and States and maintaining data-bank in this regard.
• To assist in data management for organ transplant surveillance & organ transplant and Organ Donor Registry.
• Consultancy support on the legal and non-legal aspects of donation and transplantation.
• Coordinate and Organize trainings for various cadre of workers.

For more information, you can visit the NOTTO website i.e. www.notto.nic.in and for any query contact 24X7 helpline number 1800 11 4770.

Dr. Saudan Singh

Dr. Saudan Singh has formerly been the Director General in Medical Education & Training Directorate (Govt. of UP), Principal , S.N. Medical College, Agra (U.P), and Director Professor & Head, Department of Community Medicine, VMMC & Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi. He is currently Director, National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO), Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.

5 Comments

  1. DIXIT vijay · October 28, 2015 Reply

    I would like to have special training in this aspect with my own expenses

  2. Manoj Maloo · November 15, 2015 Reply

    Sir:

    I hope this finds you well.
    My name is Manoj Maloo. I am a multi-organ transplant surgeon at M. G. Hospital in Jaipur.
    May I speak with you at some point about the Rajasthan Network Organ Sharing registry?

    Best wishes and Regards,

    Manoj Maloo, MD, FACS

  3. Manoj Maloo · November 15, 2015 Reply

    I apologize. My number is +91 9799920593.

    Best wishes,

    Manoj Maloo

  4. Dr.Vikas Agarwal · February 15, 2016 Reply

    Sir,its good initiative to make NOTTO and ROTTO Active.Issue still is public awareness and coordination.We have done two multiorgan retrieval and shared organs amongs 4 institute.
    We don’t have an idea regarding ,to whom we have to contact for skin donation ?

    Regards

    Dr.Vikas Agarwal
    8588097965

  5. srikanthreddy pogula · July 2, 2016 Reply

    sir…i am p.srikanthreddy working as a transplant counsellor in nims..i would like to learn about special programmes any national related activities transplant coordinator.and multiorgan retrivel surgery procedures etc plz guide and inform me sir..thanqx regards….

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