The three-year wait for State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (SOTTO) for Gujarat came to an end on January 26 as the state health department issued a general resolution (GR) for setting up of the authority. With the move, Gujarat joined the ranks of 10-odd Indian states having active SOTTO — streamlining organ donation and transplant across multiple cities and towns with facilities for the same. Formation of SOTTO came for the state after much pressure from National and Regional OTTOs to formulate rules and procedures for better regional and national coordination when it comes to getting and transplanting cadaver organs, also opening doors for inter-state organ transfers. While senior officials of the state health department could not be reached on Sunday, sources privy to the development said that multiple stakeholders were consulted while formulating the rules and other SOTTO mandates have also been studied.
As per NOTTO figures, a total of 242 cadaver donations were made in 2017 in Gujarat, placing the state at fifth rank in India. According to experts, the number is minuscule compared to huge demand for the organs, forcing the families to seek help from close relatives to get organs such as kidney to survive. The Times of India, in association with Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH), had organized two high-level round tables in 2018 which were chaired by deputy chief minister & health minister Nitin Patel and ACS (health) Punamchand Parmar respectively. Senior surgeons, government representatives and other stakeholders were part of the intensive discussion. – TOI