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Monday September 9, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday September 9, 2013 MYT 7:11:26 AM
by yuen meikeng
A light moment: Lee (second right) conversing with visitors including Mustapha (centre) and his family at the Hari Raya open house at Menara Wisma Sejarah.
KUALA LUMPUR: His 17-year-old son died in a road accident but Mustapha Samian did not let grief stop him from helping others.
He decided early on to donate his son’s organs.
Mustapha, 49, said his son Muhd Shafiq died in 2011 after he lost control of his motorcycle and rammed into a divider.
The family was grief-stricken but Mustapha said they decided to do one last noble deed on behalf of Muhd Shafiq by donating his kidneys and liver.
And because of that, the lives of two people changed forever.
“As parents, we thought, why don’t we allow our son to do something good for others in need? I hope that more people will think the same way and realise the importance of organ donation,” said the quality control division officer when met at a Hari Raya open house organised by the National Transplant Resource Centre here yesterday.
The Health Ministry’s Public Awareness Action Committee for Organ and Tissue Donation chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said it was now a trend for more youths to pledge their organs.
“Some 61% of the 14,053 people who signed up as organ donors this year are aged between 21 and 40. This is very encouraging and shows that youths are responding well to the cause,” he said.
There were 235,573 pledgers as of last month but Lee said this was a small number compared to the national population of 28.3 million.
Lee said from 1976 until August, there have only been 432 successful organ donations.
Ministry medical development division director Datuk Dr Azmi Shapie said a big stumbling block to successful donations was the reluctance of the deceased’s family to allow hospital staff to remove the organs.
“Those who pledge to donate organs after death must inform their family members of their intention to avoid this problem,” he said.
Dr Azmi said the ministry was in the midst of drafting a Bill to govern organ transplantation.
“We will upload the draft on our website on Sept 12 to engage the public’s views. It will be displayed online for a month,” he said.
As of August, there were 16,987 patients waiting for organ transplants.
Tags / Keywords:
Health, organ donation
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