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Kidney Transplant in India has the potential to become a world leader in transplantation, the Lancet reported. With a population of 1.25 billion and roughly one million people on the waiting list for a kidney, the number of people living with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) in India far exceeds the number of transplants being done annually. The major barriers to transplantation are organ availability, donor shortage, and high costs. To meet the growing need for kidney transplants, the government should build a national kidney bank with standardized and validated standards for donors and recipients; improve communication among donor families, recipients, transplant teams, and insurance companies; and use a system of incentivizing living donors that will help address the donor shortage.
India is the second-largest contributor of living donors for renal transplants and has a long and robust history of living donor nephrectomies, but living donation has not been widely adopted. The current donor/recipient matching rate is only 6.6% compared with 15.3% in China and 26.7% in South Korea.
This lack of national or regional regulation hinders the development of the donor and recipient selection standards, informed consent, and communication systems that are required for living donor transplants, the Lancet said.
“We are looking forward to working with the transplant community in India to provide much needed care,” Dr. Lopini said. “However, the national kidney program needs to take the initiative to develop a living donor program if India is to realize the great potential that is there.”