Over 11,000 patients in organ transplant waitinglist

Source : The Star KUALA LUMPUR: More than
11,000 patients are still waiting for organ and tissue transplants,
said Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. The Health Minister said 11,000
patients were in need of kidney transplant while 25 others need
transplants for liver, six (heart), four (lungs) and three for both
heart and lungs. “Despite the increasing number of organ pledgers
and donors, the number of actual organs donors is very small,” said
Liow in his speech before launching the National Organ Donation
Awareness Week 2010 celebrations. Liow said based on a survey by
the National Transplant Resource Centre, the number of donors was
low because family members often refused to have the organs of
their loved ones transplanted. “Alhough a person has pledged his
organs, his family members can still put a stop to the donation
when the time comes for the transplant to take place,” he said at a
press conference after his speech. He said the most common reasons
given were fear and many were related to religion. “We hope those
who have pledged their organs would inform their family members of
their wishes, like Winnie Chen,” he said. It was reported that
mechanical heart patient Chen expressed her wish to donate her
organs before she died recently. Liow said that if family members
understood the importance and urgency of this matter, they would
consent to it. “Time is gold in conducting these transplants. We
would like to remind the public that the donation has to take place
immediately after the person has died in order for the organs to be
functional for another person,” he said. The ministry, he said,
would continue to educate and create awareness for family members
to allow organ donation pledges to be fulfilled. According to the
centre, 147,092 – less than 1% of the Malaysian population – have
pledged to donate their organs from 2006 until September 2010. From
that figure, 66,599 were male while 79,606 female. The majority of
those who pledged their organs were Chinese, totalling 85,100.
Selangor recorded the highest number of pledgers at 29,743. He said
the ministry was drafting out a new law to address several issues,
including monitoring organ donations and transplants in the country
or abroad and to prevent Malaysians from turning to the black
market. The National Organ Donation Awareness Week 2010
celebration, held for the first time in Malaysia, was themed
1Malaysia 1Harapan – Organ Donation Saves Lives. For details on
organ and tissue donation, visit www.agiftoflife.gov.my.