Or­gan donor registry aims to save lives

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By SHAN JUAN shan­juan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China has launched an on­line registry to en­cour­age mem­bers of the pub­lic to sup­ply life-sav­ing or­gans for trans­plan­ta­tion af­ter their death.

The web­site savelife.org.cn has been jointly launched by the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion and District 3450 of Ro­tary In­ter­na­tional, a world­wide char­ity or­ga­ni­za­tion of busi­ness and pro­fes­sional lead­ers that pro­vides hu­man­i­tar­ian ser­vices and en­cour­ages high eth­i­cal stan­dards in vo­ca­tions.

“The registry web­site aims to arouse pub­lic at­ten­tion and sup­port or­gan do­na­tion for trans­plan­ta­tion. It will serve as a plat­form to en­cour­age mem­bers of the pub­lic to vol­un­teer for or­gan do­na­tion,” Zhou Jian, a di­vi­sion di­rec­tor for the com­mis­sion, said on Wed­nes­day about the web­site launch.

Any per­son aged 16 or older can log on to the web­site and fill in per­sonal in­for­ma­tion to be­come a vol­un­teer, said Wang Guolin, who heads Ro­tary 3450.

“The registry is open to for­eign­ers liv­ing in China as well,” he said.

Be­fore fin­ish­ing the registry, one must in­di­cate the type of or­gans or body tis­sues to be do­nated, he added.

The in­for­ma­tion is open only to the health au­thor­i­ties and au­tho­rized or­gan pro­cure­ment or­ga­ni­za­tions as needed, he said.

Vol­un­teers are en­cour­aged to talk with their fam­i­lies about their will­ing­ness to do­nate or­gans, as con­sent from fam­i­lies is also nec­es­sary to land a suc­cess­ful do­na­tion, he said.

About 300,000 Chi­nese coun­try­wide are in need of an or­gan trans­plant each year, but only 10,000 are able to land one largely due to a short­age of or­gans, ac­cord­ing to the com­mis­sion.

“The kick­off of China’s or­gan do­na­tion registry is a his­toric mo­ment that marks the in­volve­ment of a great na­tion with a pop­u­la­tion of 1.3 bil­lion in this mean­ing­ful global ef­fort to achieve self-suf­fi­ciency in or­gan trans­plan­ta­tion,” said Jose R. Nunez, trans­plan­ta­tion med­i­cal of­fi­cer of the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“It rep­re­sents a big step and a new era for or­gan trans­plan­ta­tion in China.”

Hong Kong en­ter­tainer Eric Tsang was named as im­age am­bas­sador for or­gan do­na­tion at the launch. And he set an ex­am­ple by per­son­ally reg­is­ter­ing as an or­gan vol­un­teer.

Tsang urged more people, par­tic­u­larly the younger gen­er­a­tion, to join in the ef­fort to save lives.

The‘

registry web­site aims to arouse pub­lic at­ten­tion and sup­port or­gan do­na­tion for trans­plan­ta­tion. It will serve as a plat­form to en­cour­age mem­bers of the pub­lic to vol­un­teer for or­gan do­na­tion.” ZHOU JIAN DI­VI­SION DI­REC­TOR FOR THE COM­MIS­SION

“But fol­low-up mea­sures and poli­cies should be put in place to en­sure the trans­par­ent and fair use of do­nated or­gans,” he said.

Wang Haibo, di­rec­tor of the China Or­gan Trans­plant Re­sponse Sys­tem, said the com­mis­sion re­quires that do­nated or­gans be as­signed to pa­tients by a com­put­er­ized sys­tem.

“The or­gans would go to those with the most med­i­cal need, re­gard­less of their so­cial sta­tus or wealth,” he said.

But he pointed out that an or­gan do­na­tion vol­un­teer is dif­fer­ent from a po­ten­tial or­gan donor.

Any­one can vol­un­teer, he said, but whether or not one’s or­gans can ac­tu­ally be used af­ter death de­pends on a num­ber of fac­tors in­clud­ing the prospec­tive donor’s age and health, as well as prox­im­ity to med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties ca­pa­ble of han­dling or­gans.

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