South Africans urged to be organ donors

Author: Francesca Vilette

Source: Cape Times

SURVEYS conducted by the Organ Donor Foundation this year show 71 percent of people are not willing to be donors, yet 77 percent would accept a donor organ. Countrywide about 4 300 adults and children in dire need of an organ are on a waiting list, yet only 361 transplants could happen last year. August is organ donor month and the foundation is urging people to register as donors.

Their surveys further showed 8 000 of 50 000 South Africans that should be receiving dialysis are being treated in the country. That means 42 000 thousand people are left to die or don’t know they are suffering from renal failure, the foundation said. According to the National Kidney Foundation one in 10 people suffer from chronic kidney disease and 10 000 people will die of kidney disease or kidney failure annually.

The foundation said the South African public are slow to register as organ and tissue donors and most shockingly are not prepared to donate despite willing to receive if they need a life-saving organ. The SA National  Blood Transfusion Service said yesterday it had enough blood for the next 3.4 days, while the WP Blood Transfusion Service had enough blood for two days. This year 603 649 people have donated blood. At the end of last year, the total stood at 1 029 560 donors. In 2015 there were 1 050 375 blood donors.