Record number of organ pledges

PENANG: Penang Hospital received 120 pled-ges of organs in about a week – what it used to get in a month – after heart girl Tee Hui Yi’s story was highlighted in the press. 

Health Ministry Nephrology Services head Datuk Dr Rozina Ghazalli said the pledges were received from the public since Oct 1 and more were expected in the next few weeks. 

“From January until April, the hospital recei-ved a total of 480 pledges – the second highest number of organ pledges in the country. 

“But since the newspapers started highligh-ting stories on how organ donations can save lives, we received more pledges in about a week than we used to in one month,” she said, lauding The Star for its coverage of Hui Yi’s plight and recovery. 

“I hope we can sustain the number of pled-ges coming in. We have been conducting organ donation drives for many years but it took a heart-warming story like Hui Yi's to bring in the pledges,” Dr Rozina, who is also the hospi-tal’s medical department head, said. 

Dr Rozina, who is also the hospital’s Tissue and Organ Procurement (TOP) chairman, said a meeting would be held with representatives from government clinics from all states and district hospitals on Thursday to ensure the medical staff were able to handle enquiries on organ donation. 

“It is important to make information easily available and convenient for people to sign up – especially now because so many people have been touched by Hui Yi's story,” she said. 

On Public Education Committee on Organ Donation chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye’s suggestion that MyKad be used as an organ donor card as well, Dr Rozina said it was a “good idea”. 

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