The Health Department has initiated efforts to equip government medical college hospitals with facilities for kidney and liver transplantation, Health Minister KK Shylaja told the Assembly on Monday. Replying to a question by TA Ahmed Kabir and others, she said moves were on to set up a registry of voluntary and swap donors and check organ trade. Nodal officers had been appointed at the district level to facilitate harvesting of organs from brain-dead persons and 300 government doctors empanelled for the purpose. Replying to concerns that the guidelines on organ donation had resulted in a sharp drop in the number of donations, the Minister said the government was trying to balance the compulsion to check organ trade and forced organ harvesting with the need to encourage voluntary donations.
Intervening in the issue, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan promised to amend the guidelines if they were found to be a hurdle to voluntary donations. Answering a supplementary question, Shylaja said the government was examining a proposal to procure a helicopter to transport organs harvested from brain-dead persons to recipients across the State. Moves were on to establish an isolation ward for epidemic patients at the Kozhikode medical college hospital. Other medical college hospitals would also be provided with isolation wards soon. The Minister added that the virology laboratory at Kozhikode and the Institute for Advanced Virology in Thiruvananthapuram would be equipped with Biosafety Level 3 facilities. She also told the House that legal action had been initiated against 26 persons on the charge of spreading misinformation through the social media in the wake of the Nipah virus outbreak.
Diabetic foot clinics
Replying to another question by P Aysha Potti and others, she said diabetic foot clinics would be set up at all district hospitals this year. A naturopathy institute would be established under the program to combat lifestyle diseases. The Minister informed the House that a high incidence of diabetes and hypertension had been detected in a State-wide survey of lifestyle diseases covering one crore people. A corps of child doctors had been set up as a pilot project in Wayanad to spread awareness about lifestyle diseases, she added. – The Hindu