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HomeReunion MovementSyro-Malankara Church celebrates reunion day with organ donation drive

Syro-Malankara Church celebrates reunion day with organ donation drive


Syro-Malankara Catholics in India are pledging to donate their organs after death to mark the anniversary of their church joining the Catholic fold 85 years ago.

“We are organizing the program to sensitize people about organ donation. It will certainly help many critically ill,” said Cardinal Baselios Mar Cleemis.

Some 100,000 church members are expected to consent to donate their organs during the church-organized Sept. 10-21 programs at Tiruvalla town in south India’s Kerala state where the church is based.

Cardinal Cleemis said more people should join in the organ donation campaign to help needy people in the country.

In India, culture and religious beliefs block people from organ donation even as thousands of people who could be helped are dying because of non-availability of organs, he said.


Syro-Malankara Archbishop Thomas Mar Koorilos, who is coordinating the organ donation campaign, said the church’s effort would continue even after reunion day celebrations.

More than 100,000 rupees (US$1,500) each will be handed over to 85 impoverished heart patients and another 100,000 rupees for marriage assistance for 10 low-income girls, during the celebrations. A 1.5-million-rupees housing program also is being planned for the poor, said Archbishop Koorilos.

Father Davis Chiramel, chairman of the Kidney Federation of India, who donated his kidney to a Hindu recipient, will help in the handling of consent forms during the organ donation campaign.

“I’ve been campaigning for organ donation for the last five years. But we could not get much headway as no organization or religious groups promoted the campaign. I’m glad that the Syro-Malankara Church has come forward with a meaningful campaign. It will help thousands of people,” Father Chiramel said.

K. Elangovan, secretary of the health department in Kerala, also welcomed the Church initiative. “Organ donation can help thousands of people and pave the way for a revolution in transplantation surgery,” Elangovan, a surgeon said.

Indian media reports that fewer than 5,000 kidney transplants are carried out annually in India against an estimated requirement of some 175,000.

Some 50,000 people die of liver disease each year in India, with only 1,000 transplants carried out annually, according to a report by the Times of India.

The annual requirement for hearts is estimated at around 50,000 and lungs at about 20,000. The rate of organ donation is as low as 0.3 per million population, the report said.

  • source – UCANEWS

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