Lee: More should pledge to donate organs
THERE are 169,224 Malaysians who have pledged to donate their organs and tissues as of May this year.
Out of this figure, only 327 have donated their organs after their deaths since 1975.
Public Awareness Action Committee on Organ Donation chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said it was a challenge to get more people to be organ donors.
“It is more difficult for those who pledged to successfully donate their organs because of family objections,” Lee said.
He urged organ donors to inform their family members and next-of-kin on their decision.
“When the donors die, the family members are unaware of the pledge.
“So there is much objection and in the end the donation will not take place,” Lee said at the Health Education and Health Awareness (Heha) campaign organised by the Federal Territory branch of Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) at the Mid Valley Convention Centre recently.
The aim of the campaign was to educate and create awareness on public on health issues.
Also present were MMA Federal Territory branch chairman Dr Azizan Abdul Aziz and Heha organising chairman Dr Koh Kar Chai.
The event also saw the attempt for entry into the Malaysia Book of Records for the “Largest Number of Organ Donation Pledges”.
The organisers, however, only managed to get 103 pledgers during the two-day event.
“While they may have fallen short, it was still encouraging to see people volunteering to be organ donors,” Lee said.
According to the National Transplant Resource Centre, those aged between 21 and 30 are the biggest group who have pledged to donate their organs.
Lee cited religious and general misconceptions as the reasons for people refraining from signing up for organ donation.
“Kidneys are in high demand now because there are more than 22,000 people undergoing haemodialysis as a result of renal failure in the country,” he said.