KOTA KINABALU 09/12/2012: If everything goes well, a Sabah Transplant Resource Centre will be set up at Queen Elizabeth Hospital I soon.
Sabah Health Department director Dr Christina Rundi in disclosing this, hoped that through the setting up of the centre, they would be able to create greater awareness on the importance of organ donation among the people.
Speaking during the closing ceremony of the Organ Donation Promotion Campaign for Sabah here yesterday, Christina said that apart from promoting the programme to the public, they must first educate their staff on the matter.
“It is important for the staff to understand organ donation to ensure the success of this programme,”
she said in her speech read by the department deputy director (Medical) Dr Adlan Suhaimi Ahmad, who is also the event’s organising chairman cum Sabah level Organ Donation Promotion Committee chairman.
Rundi added that during the first 11 months of this year they recorded 780 organ pledges compared to 337 pledges during the same period in 2011.
Yesterday alone, they collected 950 pledges, making the current number for this year to 2,110 pledges.
She said the department’s Regional Transplant and Procurement Management Unit has been running a statewide roadshow to promote organ donation awareness among its staff and the public from July to December this year. Areas covered were Sandakan, Tawau, Lahad Datu and the city.
Since its introduction in 1997, and up to June this year, the programme has recorded 3,264 organ pledges, which is only 1.62 per cent from the total pledges nationwide.
“The Sabah Health Department is heavily promoting organ donation as there is a rising trend of patients waiting for organs. Until today, there were 40 organ donors in Malaysia, compared to 47 last year,” she said.
The programme, themed Celebrating a Gift of Life, will include several programmes, which among others include a Tree of Life, which is a Christmas tree provided by Suria Sabah Shopping Mall where organ pledges may hand their personal wishes and messages to organ donors (actual donors who have passed away and donated their organs), organ recipients, those waiting for organs and also health workers involved in organ procurement,
“In this Christmas season, we want to remind the public that there are those among us who are suffering and are in need. Being an organ donor is the best gift one can give to a fellow human being, so let us celebrate the gift of life by signing up as an organ donor today,” she said.
“And the number continues to rise, but there are not enough organ donors around,”
Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye