Hospitals in Karnataka will soon be carrying out hand transplantation
- The State, which has seen a steady rise in organ donations over the years, does not have a hospital that has a licence for hand transplantation.
- With no hospital from the State registered with Jeevasarthakathe — the State government’s nodal body that approves cadaveric organ donations — for hand transplant, the donated hands were sent to Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) in Puducherry.
- Preserved in a chemical solution and wrapped in ice slush, the hands travelled 300 km in three hours from Narayana Health City in Bengaluru to JIPMER, where they were transplanted in a person who had lost both his hands in a factory accident.
- However, this scenario is all set to change. Hand transplants may soon become a reality in Karnataka, with a couple of hospitals applying for transplantation licence with the State government.
- At least three hospitals had applied for a licence recently.
- Sparsh Hospitals, Gleneagles Global Hospitals, and HCG have applied for a licence to transplant hands.
- Pointing out that no hospital in Karnataka had applied for hand transplant licence in the past
- Organ donation usually involves internal organs and eyes. Hand transplantation is an emerging programme and only a handful have been done in the country so far.
- If hospitals have the facilities and expertise to conduct the programme there is no hitch in granting the licence
- The hand transplantation programme requires a specialised team of plastic surgeons, orthopaedics, and physiotherapists, apart from an excellent immunotherapy facility.
- The country’s first hand transplant was conducted at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre (AIMS) in Kochi in 2015.
Rs. 348 crore promised in budget for developing 59 lakes over three years
- There is fresh hope for lakes in the city, with the State government announcing a Rs. 348-crore package for the development and rejuvenation of 59 lakes over the next three years.
- The package is part of the Rs. 8,015-crore special assistance for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) announced in the State. The civic body will receive Rs. 2,300 crores during 2019–20 (to be spent over three years) of which Rs. 250 crores are earmarked for lakes.
- Welcoming the special grant, lake conservation activists sounded caution not to squander away what could be a one-time fixing of most parts of the lake ecosystem in the city, if done right. Some rejuvenated lakes in north Bengaluru — Rachenahalli and Jakkur lakes — are a lesson as to what could go wrong, they said, as the two waterbodies are now polluted with sewage.
- Lakes are not about the lakebed alone: they are about clean water, for which the veins and nerves (storm-water drains and inlets) need to be taken care of to prevent inlet of any sewage. Unless this is ensured, rejuvenation is likely to turn into a cyclical project like repairing potholed roads
- Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has set a deadline of 2020 to completely operationalise 28 sewage treatment plants (STPs) in the city, which will have the capacity to treat 1,470 MLD of sewage.
- Theoretically, a capacity to treat 1,470 MLD will ensure all sewage the city produces is treated.
- If the rejuvenation of these lakes and the operationalisation of the STPs is coordinated, we will probably be looking at a best-case scenario for the city lakes in the recent history
- A few more interventions were essential to prevent repeated degradation of these lakes once rejuvenated
Preventing sewage entry
- The budget also allocates Rs. 76.55 crore over the next two years for projects to prevent sewage from entering storm-water drains (SWDs) at 914 entry points, which would also go a long way in preventing inlet of untreated sewage into the lakes, activists said.
- The the civic body would soon invite tenders to rope in consultants to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for the rejuvenation of all the 59 lakes, following which these DPRs have to be cleared by the Karnataka Tank Conservation and Development Authority, which will ensure a co-ordinated effort from the BBMP and the BWSSB regarding each lake.
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