Trans­plant surg­eries could set record

‘New page’ turned as China sees rapid in­crease in or­gan do­na­tions

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By WANG XIAODONG wangx­i­aodong@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The to­tal num­ber of or­gan trans­plant surg­eries per­formed in China is ex­pected to reach 15,000 this year, which would be a record high and an in­crease of nearly 50 per­cent over last year.

After the abol­ish­ment of procur­ing or­gans for trans­plant from ex­e­cuted pris­on­ers since the be­gin­ning of last year, the num­ber of or­gans do­nated after death has in­creased rapidly, se­nior of­fi­cials and ex­perts said.

Last year, about 10,000 or­gan trans­plant surg­eries were per­formed na­tion­wide, Huang Jiefu, for­mer min­is­ter of health and di­rec­tor of the China Or­gan Do­na­tion and Trans­plan­ta­tion Com­mit­tee, said at the 2016 China In­ter­na­tional Or­gan Do­na­tion Con­fer­ence in Bei­jing on Mon­day.

The surgery to­tals in­clude trans­plants us­ing or­gans from liv­ing donors.

The num­ber of peo­ple who do­nated or­gans after death in China this year reached 2,950 by the end of Septem­ber, which is an in­crease of 50 per­cent com­pared with the same pe­riod last year, said Wang Haibo, di­rec­tor of the China Or­gan Trans­plant Re­sponse Sys­tem, which is re­spon­si­ble for or­gan dis­tri­bu­tion and shar­ing in China.

This could make China the sec­ond in the world, be­hind theUnited States, in the num­ber of or­gan donors by the end of the year, he said.

Sta­tis­tics of­fered by the sys­tem also showed the to­tal num­ber of do­nated or­gans har­vested after death last year in China ex­ceeded 7,700, more than the to­tal num­bers for 2013 and 2014 com­bined.

“A new page has been turned” with China’s es­tab­lish­ment of a trans­par­ent or­gan do­na­tion and trans­plant sys­tem, Huang said.

China stopped us­ing or­gans from ex­e­cuted pris­on­ers on Jan 1 last year, when vol­un­tary do­na­tions be­came the only le­gal source for trans­plants.

“Much cor­rup­tion ex­isted in the al­lo­ca­tion of or­gans pro­cured from ex­e­cuted pris­on­ers,” Huang said.

“The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has adopted a zero-tol­er­ance at­ti­tude to­ward such be­hav­ior,” he added.

To im­prove and bet­ter reg­u­late pro­cure­ment and al­lo­ca­tion of or­gans, the Or­gan Pro­cure­ment and Al­lo­ca­tion Com­mit­tee of the Chi­nese Hos­pi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion was es­tab­lished on Sun­day.

The com­mit­tee will “play a role of man­age­ment and su­per­vi­sion over the sec­tor and for­mu­late re­lated stan­dards”, Huang said.

Mar­tiManyalich, pres­i­dent of the In­ter­na­tional So­ci­ety of Or­gan Do­na­tion and Pro­cure­ment, said China has made great progress in pro­mot­ing or­gan do­na­tions and trans­plants in the past few years.

The ra­tio of or­gan donors among Chi­nese, which is now more than 2 per mil­lion pop­u­la­tion, could in­crease ten­fold in the next 10 years, which means China could nearly meet the de­mand for or­gan trans­plants, he added.

China can make quicker progress in or­gan do­na­tions and trans­plants by learn­ing from some other coun­tries, such as Spain, which has one of the world’s top or­gan do­na­tion ra­tios, he said.

Like many other coun­tries, China faces a se­vere shortage of or­gans, with about 300,000 peo­ple wait­ing for or­gan trans­plant surg­eries each year, ac­cord­ing to Xin­hua News Agency.

The ra­tio of or­gan donors among Chi­nese could in­crease ten­fold in the next 10 years, said Marti Manyalich, pres­i­dent of the In­ter­na­tional So­ci­ety of Or­gan Do­na­tion and Pro­cure­ment.

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