~ The occasion was graced by Honourable Minister for Health & Family Welfare and Medical Education, Dr. K Sudhakar
Bengaluru, January 19, 2023: On the 40th Anniversary of non-profit trust, Bangalore Medical Services Trust (BMST), the charitable organization felicitated the unsung heroes of State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (SOTTO) of Karnataka, who make the challenging process of organ donation and transplant successful. As a champion of the cause of organ donation in Karnataka, Dr. K Sudhakar, Honourable Minister for Health & Family Welfare and Medical Education graced the event to felicitate the heroes.
Before the doctor performs the intricate surgery for an organ transplant, there are a number of people who are crucial to the entire process who often go unnoticed. From the police who clears a ‘green corridor’ to ensure smooth transportation of the organ to the hospital, to the airport in-charge who ensure swift transfers, to the forensics team who perform crucial initial investigations prior to the transplant and more. Each of these individuals play a vital role in the process of organ donation and transplant.
BMST organised a special event where they felicitated the heroes who play a significant role quietly, behind the scene for the transplant program in Karnataka. This included the Transplant Coordination Team at SOTTO, HLA / transplant immunology Lab team, Suvarna Arogya Suraksha Trust team, Traffic Police personnel, Forensic teams and Airport Authorities As part BMST’s 40th anniversary, the non-profit trust will also be hosting a series of events, training programs and CMEs.
SOTTO has done exemplary work in increasing organ donations and transplant programs in Karnataka. They have achieved this through community awareness programs, but more importantly, through their untiring counselling efforts, and the spirit and large-heartedness of the donor families. This team of passionate people at SOTTO effectively provides 24/7 services to more than 90,000 patients per year with Blood Storage Centres (BSCs) in 26 hospitals.
Speaking at the felicitation, Dr. Latha Jagannathan, Medical Director and Managing Trustee, BMST, said, “On the 40th anniversary of BMST, we decided to mark the occasion by honouring and thanking the silent heroes who make the process of organ donation and transplant a success. Each and every one who has been associated with us to make Organ Donation and Transplant movement possible, is a hero. We thank SOTTO team, the counsellors, lab technicians, police personnel and airport authorities for their valuable contribution. I also thank Dr. K Sudhakar for his constant trust and support. I’ve always believed in the saying, “Be the change you want to see” and together with SOTTO, HLA Labs, SAST team and the Karnataka Government authorities, we have achieved so much and changed so much. This celebration applauds every ones admirable work and makes us dream about a brighter future.”
About Bangalore Medical Services Trust (BMST):
Bangalore Medical Services Trust (BMST) was established by the Rotary Club of Bangalore and TTK & Company in 1984. It is a not-for-profit charitable trust which provides lifesaving services through access to safe blood and cellular products and, facilitation of stem cell, solid organ and tissue transplantation for all patients in need. It was initially set up to provide blood-banking services through its division, the Rotary Bangalore-TTK Blood Bank, has evolved over time to become a centre of excellence in the areas of blood banking, transfusion and Immunohematology – transplant Immunology, tissue banking, solid organ and stem cell transplantation. It is today the only standalone, charitable organization in India which has a blood centre, a tissue bank, HLA Lab and, in partnership with DKMS, a Stem Cell Registry. Today, BMST is recognised as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (SIRO) by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India.
State Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization (SOTTO) a.k.a Jeevasarthakathe has been constituted by the Government of Karnataka for a sustained deceased (Cadaver) donor transplantation programme and to oversee the implementation of the Transplantation of Human Organs Act of 1994.
SOTTO works through a team effort with participating hospitals to ensure effective organ procurement and just distribution of these organs. SOTTO has done exemplary work in increasing the deceased donor organ and tissue donations in Karnataka. From only 3 in 2007, the consistent efforts of SOTTO has resulted in 151 cadaver donations in 2022. A total of over 2000 solid organs, Kidneys, Liver, Heart, Pancreas, Lungs, small bowel and even one hand, and around 400 tissues have been donated.