|Monday, 15 October 2012 02:54|
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the organ donation pledge card would be sent to the donor's address after the confirmation of registration made by the website management. KUALA LUMPUR: The public can now pledge to donate their organs to save the lives of those in need of organ transplant via the Gift For Life website.
"We are working at making organ donation a culture in this country to increase the number of donors, especially among the younger generation as they form over 70 per cent of the population."
He said this at the "Bicara Hati" programme held at the National Heart Institute (IJN), here, Sunday in conjunction with the launching of the Organ Donation Awareness Week. Also present were Organ Donation Public Awareness Action Committee chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, National Transplant Resource Centre chief coordinator Datin Dr Lela Yasmin Mansor and IJN chief executive officer Tan Sri Dr Robaayah Zambahari.
Liow said the Health Ministry found that up to last month, 15,611 patients throughout the country were still waiting for organs to be donated to them by members of the public.
"Out of this number, 15,581 are kidney patients, 16 with chronic liver disease, eight with heart disease, three with lung disease and six with both lung and heart diseases.
"Although the public is aware of the importance of donating their organs in order to save the lives of others, the number of organ donors in this country is still small, at 1.7 of its populaton of about 28.7 million."
On the number of organ donation pledgers, Liow said the ministry had received 205,478 forms up to last month or 0.73 per cent of the population, which was not enough.
"Spain has the biggest number of organ donors at 34.1 per cent of its population, Singapore at 6 per cent and Saudi Arabia at 4.2 per cent.
"From the religious aspect, all religions regard organ donation as a noble gesture as one donated organ may be able to save more than one life," he said.
In conjunction with the Organ Donation Awareness Week, Liow also launched the website, http:www.agiftforlife.gov.my and the Twitter page and Facebook page to encourage more people to pledge their organs for donation via online.
On another development, Liow when met by reporters said the ministry was making effort to update the statistics on cancer patients nationwide.
He was earlier asked to comment on the suggestion by Dr Harjit Kaur, a breast and endocrine consultant surgeon at the Prince Court Medical Centre, for the statistics on breast cancer be updated by the ministry as the data have not been reviewed after five years.