Organ donations: Pledge

There has been an increase of over 12,000 pledges to donate organs in 2014 compared with 2013, said National Transplant Resources Centre head (NTRC) Datin Dr Lela Yasmin Mansor.

She attributed this improvement to greater awareness among the people. Speaking to theSun, Lela said the number of pledges rose from 27,452 in 2013 to 39,882 in 2014.

"For the first half of this year we have keyed in 13,524 pledges into our systems," she added. Lela said the pledges were either in the form of organs or tissues.

In the first half of 2015, 110 people received kidney, liver and cornea transplants.

"The 110 people received their organs from 20 kidney donors, nine liver donors and 33 cornea donors," she said, noting countless others also benefited from heart valves and bone transplants.

Many individuals or their next-of-kin wanted to donate organs after death out of a sense of compassion.

"Unfortunately, in some cases, the organs were found to be incompatible with the intended recipient or infected during the donor's lifetime," said Lela, adding the need for immediate transplant meant storing certain organs for extended periods of time was not possible.

The raised awareness on organ donation can be attributed to medical professionals and NTRC's street campaign.

"Doctors are more likely to present the option of organ donation to the deceased's next-of-kin if he/she was their patient," said Lela, noting the doctor would consider it as their final duty to the patient.

Likewise 2014's street campaign saw NTRC personnel reach out to the public in both urban and rural areas in the country.

"Rather than wait for them to come to us, we went to them. Within four hours, over 5,000 pledges were raised throughout 77 locations nationwide," Lela said, expressing hope that this year's campaign would also garner a strong response.

/theSUN 02-08-2015

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