Berhampur: Even as there has been a rise in interest among people to donate their body after death for carrying out studies and research in medical science, lack of an embalming centre in MKCG Medical College and Hospital here has hit the drive in Ganjam district, a report said.
The department of anatomy in any medical college has an important role to play in medical studies. Students admitted to medical colleges have to study the function of various internal body parts and organs through this department while pursuing their medical studies.
The anatomy department of Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati Medical College and Hospital (MKCGMCH) has received permission from the state government to accept human bodies as part of body donation and use them in studies and research of medical students.
As a result, the need for establishment of an embalming centre to embalm the bodies received through donations has increased manifold in this medical college. The college authorities had submitted a proposal to the state government requesting for establishment of an embalming centre in its premises in 2020.
The college authorities had also sent repeated reminders but their pleas are yet to be addressed. The establishment of an embalming centre in SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack is also yet to be realised.
On the other hand, people are coming forward to donate their bodies and organs due to increase in awareness among them. Meanwhile, 87 persons have submitted their written undertakings to donate their bodies to the college after death, Professor Dr Sadananda Rath, head of the anatomy department said.
A maximum of 33 persons have submitted undertakings for body donation in 2015 while this year seven persons have submitted the same. However, the state government is yet to make available the facilities in this medical college which is highly required for preserving the bodies.
The establishment of an embalming centre has become all the more a necessity with an increase in interest for body donation among the people, he said. Many benevolent people are coming forward to donate their bodies after body donation was accorded legal sanction.
It is a matter of concern that the anatomy department of MKCG Medical College has no facility for establishment of an embalming centre. The department only has facilities to preserve a few unclaimed bodies which are received for studies of the medical students.
The department received seven bodies on donation between 2013 and 2021, Prof Rath said. In 2017, the department received 12 bodies out of which one body was received as part of body donation.
Sources said that an embalming centre is a special and separate unit managed and operated by the anatomy department. The centre requires a special freezer to preserve the bodies, staff on call 24X7 to collect the bodies, air-conditioned ambulance, clerks and data-entry operators to manage the office work.
It is the duty of the centre to collect the bodies in the event of death of any person who has submitted undertaking to MKCG Medical College. However, due to lack of infrastructure it has become a difficult task for the departmental authorities to preserve the bodies, Prof Rath added.