In South Africa, approximately 4300 adults and children are currently awaiting life-saving transplants, with less than 600 transplants performed each year.
Our country boasts many firsts in this field; the first heart transplant in 1967, the first penis transplant in 2015, and the first HIV-positive donor to HIV-positive recipient kidney transplant … something to be truly proud of. However, with less than 1% of South African’s registered as organ donors, organ donation remains stagnant.
People who are on an organ waiting list typically have end-stage organ disease that significantly impacts their quality of life and may be near the end of their life. Receiving an organ can become a life-changing event for these people. This is where you can help. Becoming a registered organ donor is a powerful and potentially life-saving decision. However, if the concept makes you feel uneasy, maybe answers to frequently asked questions will give you perspective.
It’s quick and easy. Contact the Organ Donor Foundation’s toll-free line at 0800 2266 11 or register online at www.odf.org.za. Once you’ve been successfully registered, the Organ Donor Foundation will send you an organ donor card to carry in your wallet, as well as stickers to stick on your driver’s licence and ID document to make your intentions known in case of an emergency. Also, you need to talk to your family; your organs can’t be procured for transplantation without consent from your next-of-kin.
None. All medical tests will be done after death.
Any person in good health can be an organ donor.
The heart, liver, kidneys, lungs and the pancreas can be transplanted. You can also donate skin, bones, corneas, tendons and heart valves.
Having a medical condition does not necessarily prevent a person from becoming an organ/tissue donor. A disease in one organ does not preclude other organs from being donated. The decision about which organs/tissue which can be used will be established at the time of death.
No, there are no costs involved for the donor or his family.
No, organ donation is a gift.
No. The utmost respect and dignity are given to the donor at all times. The recovery of organs and tissue is carried out with great care by surgeons and trained staff.
Yes, inform your family which organs/tissue you don’t wish to donate.
Yes. Simply tear up your organ donor card and remove the stickers from your ID document and driver’s licence. Also, inform your family that you no longer wish to be a donor.
Think about it, one organ donor can save up to 7 lives.
Your decision to be a donor could allow something positive to be gained from loss.
Source: getsavvi.co.za, health24.com, odf.org.za, nebraskamed.com, brandsouthafrica.com, adventhealth.com, westerncape.gov.za, keckmedicine.org, penmedicine.org
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.