Vietnam sees sharp increase in organ donations

By Le Nga    December 2, 2018 | 09:30 am GMT+7
Vietnam sees sharp increase in organ donations
Nguyen Hai An, a seven-year-old girl in Hanoi, who has inspired a lot of organ donors as she decided to donate her cornea before dying of a brain tumor in February 2018. Photo by VnExpress/H.A.

The number of organ donation registrations in Vietnam has rocketed in 2018 to about one-third of the last five years.

According to the Vietnam National Coordinating Center for Human Organ Transplantation (VNHOT), the total number of registrations for organ donations reached nearly 19,300 since its establishment in 2013.

This is one of the two official centers in Vietnam for people to register to donate their organs after death.

From 2013 to 2017, the total number of registrations was 11,853, according to the VNHOT online portal.

So far this year, 7,300 people have volunteered to donate their organs after they die or go into irreparable coma. 

Last February, the touching story of Nguyen Hai An, a seven-year-old girl in Hanoi, inspired a lot of organ donors. An decided to donate her cornea before she died of a brain tumor on February 22.

Raising awareness on organ donation has been a challenge in Vietnam. In 2014, after one year of operation, the center could only motivate a few more than 200 people to register for organ donation. These people were mainly leaders and officers of the center and some doctors.

Many people in Vietnam strongly believe they need all their body parts for the afterlife, and families of donors have also been caught up in rumors about selling organs for money.

Figures from the health ministry last year showed that Vietnamese doctors only performed around 1,500 organ transplants since 1992. That left thousands of patients suffering from heart, kidney, liver and lung diseases and blind people awaiting donations.

But by the end of August 2018, the number of organ transpants have jumped to 3,378, including 3,223 kidney transplants, 125 liver transplants, 26 heart transplants, one kidney - pancreas transplant, one heart - lung transplant and two lung transplants.

VNHOT has been in operation since 2013 at the Viet-Duc Friendship Hospital in Hanoi. People can also register to donate their organs at the Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City.

 
 
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