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Monday October 14, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday October 14, 2013 MYT 7:34:13 AM
KOTA KINABALU: A week-long organ donation drive is now being carried out at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital to get more people to pledge as donors in the state.
Hospital director Dr William Gotulis said there were more than 17,000 people on the national transplant waiting list but the number of donors, as well as suitable organs in the country, was still insufficient.
From this, Sabah had been listed as among the states with the lowest pledges in Malaysia, he said, in noting that the donation drive was also to create awareness on the need and importance of organ donation.
He said among the main reasons for the situation were because people were afraid of disfigurement and pain during the organ procurement surgery, and the belief that donating organs was against one’s religion or culture.
“No pledge means no donor. No donor means no transplantation,” Dr William said after launching the event.
The event is organised by the hospital’s tissue and organ procurement team in collaboration with Sabah Regional Transplant Procurement Management Unit in an effort to promote organ donation awareness among hospital staff and also the public.
Later, visitors and invited guests heard stories about past donors as well as patients who died after waiting in vain for suitable organs.
The stories were told by regional transplant coordinator Low Lieh Yong, who also commemorated a patient, Winnie Chen, who died three years ago while waiting for a heart transplant.
Despite her state, she still inspired people as she donated her kidneys, lungs, liver and corneas after her death.
The crowd also heard local donor Damian George’s story, who donated one of his kidneys to his sister in 2008, and continued to live a normal life after that.
Further information can be obtained at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital II, by contacting the National Transplant Resource Centre at its toll-free number 1-800-88-9080, surf online at www.dermaorgan.gov.my or through Facebook at www.facebook.com/agiftoflifesabah.
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Health, sabah, organ donation drive
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