We Need More Organ Donors In Malaysia

There are currently more than 21,000 people on the waiting list for organ transplants, some of them in crucial stages.

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We Need More Organ Donors In Malaysia
Image: TIME
Organ donation is something we often hear about be it in movies or conversations, but it is not something a lot of us actively participate in.
There are currently 401,242 registered donors in Malaysia, according to Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
Although the number of people who pledged to donate their organs increased, it is still relatively low compared to the number of patients that need organ transplants every year.
Malaysia's organ donation rate is also one of the lowest in the world.
Earlier in October, Deputy Health Minister said that the organ donation rate after death is only 1.0 per million population, compared 9.96 per million population in South Korea, 21.0 in the United Kingdom and 39.7 in Spain, as reported by Bernama.
New Straits Times reported that there are currently 21,778 people on the waiting list for organ transplants and the worse thing is some of them are already on their final stages of organ failure.
Out of the total, a majority of 21,759 of them are kidney patients, eight liver patients, four heart disease patients, three lung patients, and four in urgent need of lung and heart transplants.
According to the Health Ministry, organs that are allowed to be donated in Malaysia are heart, lung, liver and kidney, while tissues that can be donated are heart valves, eyes (cornea), bones and skin.
Unlike Singapore, Malaysia has yet to make organ donation mandatory.
The Ministry has since set up an Organ Donation Strategic Campaign Plan that consists of six strategies to encourage more Malaysians to pledge organ donation:
  • Focus on raising awareness among youths because they are more positive and receptive to learning about the subject.
  • Establish partnerships with government agencies, non-governmental agencies, government-linked companies, the private sector and individuals with influence.
  • Strengthen the organisational structure of the transplant services to ensure effective and efficient delivery.
  • Overcome false perceptions among communities regarding the subject, especially from religious and cultural perspectives.
  • Utilising mass media and social media platforms to spread more knowledge and information.
  • Enhancing the awareness and commitment of relevant health personnel to deliver the best to patients.
You can also find out more about organ donation in Malaysia on the Health Ministry’s official MyHEALTH portal here.

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