External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, 64, is likely to undergo a kidney transplant at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at 8.30 am on Saturday.
The donor is unrelated and all the necessary clearances have been obtained from the authorisation committee.
Swaraj’s daughter wanted to donate but was found to be medically unfit for donation,
Swaraj, who is a diabetic and has been in and out of the hospital for the past few months, was admitted to AIIMS on November 7 with failing kidneys.
On November 16, she tweeted that she was admitted to AIIMS because of kidney failure and was undergoing tests for transplantation. Since then, all the necessary immunological tests have been done and a donor match has been found.
To prevent organ trafficking, India’s Transplantation of Human Organs Act allows transplantations to be done only in hospitals registered with the government, and live transplants (such as kidneys) only from near-relatives, such as the father, mother, brother, sister, children or spouses.
Cadaver and altruistic donations, such as in Swaraj’s case, are allowed only after being screened by an authorisation committee – which has a government representative — to ensure the donors was not forced or paid.
“The AIIMS authorisation committee has approved the donor and the transplantation after all the necessary tests, so the stage is set for the procedure,” said a doctor at AIIMS who did not want to be named.
Dr MC Misra, AIIMS director and professor of surgery; Dr VK Bansal, additional professor of surgery, and Dr Sandeep Mahajan, professor of nephrology, will be part of the team doing the surgery. Swaraj’s treating physicians Dr Nikhil Tandon, professor of endocrinology and Dr Randeep Guleria, professor of pulmonary medicine will closely track her progress.
Over 1.5 lakh people suffer end-stage kidney failure in India each year and need a transplant, but barely 3,500 find donors.