Materia Medica Malaysiana

April 21, 2007

Five organ harvesting centres to be set up

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 1:01 pm

Sun2Surf: PENANG (April 20, 2007): The Health Ministry is planning to set up five regional centres nationwide for organ harvesting to complement transplant efforts which are now lacking due to poor coordination.
A coordinating centre in the Klang Valley will serve as a hub to relay information immediately and communicate with the regional centres so that when an organ donor is available for harvesting, the harvesting teams can be despatched immediately.
Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Lee Kah Choon said a blueprint on organ harvesting is now being scrutinised by the ministry and will be implemented soon.
Lee said currently organ harvesting was only being carried out in selected hospitals where there were experts and if an organ donor died elsewhere, it was near impossible to immediately despatch a team to carry out the harvesting.
“With a population of 25 to 26 million people, sadly we have only about 100,000 registered organ donors (0.004%).
“There are at least 5,000 people on the waiting list for transplants but only 20 transplants can be carried out yearly due to organ shortage.
“Even when someone who is registered as an organ donor dies, we may not be able to harvest his/her organs due to various reasons, including the reluctance of the family members to allow the harvesting to be carried out.
“We have to double our efforts to dispel the wrong perception about organ donation and hopefully, more lives can be saved when there is an awareness among the people that their noble act can save lives,” he said after officiating at the opening of a new dialysis centre set up by the Penang Fo Yi Haemodialysis Society today.
Lee said due to lack of kidney donors, at least 10% of the 13,000 end renal failure patients died yearly.
He appealed to NGOs and private organisations who have set up dialysis centres to treat 36% of kidney patients in the country to help educate the public on organ donation.
“It is just not enough for you to provide these dialysis centres, but you must also help to educate the people on kidney ailments and also on organ donations.
“It is alarming to note that where there were fewer than 50 people needing dialysis treatment in the 1980s but last year there were 13,000 on the list which is growing about 2,700 new patients,” he added.

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