More Saudis be­com­ing or­gan donors

Around 12% of the pop­u­la­tion reg­is­tered as donors as aware­ness in­creases

Gulf News - - GULF -

More Saudis are be­com­ing or­gan donors and au­thor­i­ties have re­cently agreed to al­low cit­i­zens to des­ig­nate them­selves as or­gan donors on their driv­ing li­cence or on their na­tional ID card.

A grow­ing num­ber of Saudis are be­com­ing more aware of the im­por­tance of or­gan do­na­tion to help cure peo­ple and save lives.

Ac­cord­ing to the Saudi Cen­tre for Or­gan Trans­plan­ta­tion (SCOT), four mil­lion peo­ple in Saudi Ara­bia hold an or­gan donor card. The fig­ure rep­re­sents around 12.5 per cent of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion, Faisal Sha­heen, SCOT gen­eral direc­tor and se­nior con­sul­tant physi­cian and nephrol­o­gist, said.

The num­ber of or­gan trans­plants in­creased from 1,036 in 2015 to 1,082 in 2016.

Wait­ing list

The Saudi Cen­tre for Or­gan Trans­plan­ta­tion said that 13,174 or­gans from liv­ing and de­ceased donors were trans­planted be­tween 1986 and 2016.

The fig­ure com­prises 10,569 kid­neys, 2,006 liv­ers, 339 hearts, 213 lungs, 46 pan­creases and one small in­tes­tine.

There were 1,767 tis­sues re­cov­ered, in­clud­ing 628 hearts as sources of valves, 698 corneas, 324 bones and 117 mus­cu­loskele­tal tis­sues, the cen­tre added.

How­ever, be­cause the wait­ing list re­mains long, many Saudis have to travel abroad to buy or­gans — mainly in Asian coun­tries.

The move comes two weeks af­ter a royal or­der was is­sued to al­low women to drive in the king­dom start­ing on June 24.

The se­cu­rity com­mit­tee at the Coun­cil is to amend an ear­lier pro­posal that in­cluded the des­ig­na­tion but that was is­sued be­fore the or­der to al­low women to have li­cences and drive, Al Hayat daily re­ported.

The de­ci­sion to men­tion the Saudi man or woman as a des­ig­nated or­gan donor on the driv­ing li­cence or the ID or both will be made fol­low­ing an agree­ment with the Min­istry of Health.

The Shura Coun­cil has mem­bers, 30 of which, women. 150 are

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