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Monday December 16, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday December 16, 2013 MYT 6:48:10 AM
SANDAKAN: The number of Malaysians pledging their organs is slowly increasing and women appear more willing to do so.
Organ Donation Awareness Promotion Action Committee chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said 132,452 women had pledged their organs since 1997.
They comprised 55.2% of Malaysians who had made such pledges over the past 16 years, he said when closing the 2013 state level Organ Donation Awareness Week here
Although the awareness among Malaysians was improving, the number of organ pledgers was only 0.8% of the Malaysian population, he added.
For this year alone, 19,836 persons had pledged to donate their organs as of November this year.
Lee said the number of those pledging to donate their organs in Sabah had continued to grow steadily from 62 in 2008 to 1,410 last year and 524 until October this year.
He noted that although there were 239,683 organ pledgers in the country, the number of actual donors was still small.
According to the National Transplant Resource Centre, the total number of actual organ donors to date totalled 440 including nine donors from Sabah since the organ transplant programme started in 1976.
Lee said a limited supply of organs continued to hinder organ transplants around the world and Malaysia was no exception.
“A significant percentage of potential organs were lost either to medical failure or through an inability to obtain consent for donation.
“The process leading from donation to transplant was complex and was influenced by many factors, such as legislation, training, public attitude and cost,” he said.
The shortage of donated organs was the major challenge currently facing transplant programmes in Malaysia, he added.
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