5 Reasons Why You Should Be an Organ Donor
From the world’s first successful heart transplant to reconstructing the broken bones of a patient’s middle ear using 3D printing technology, South Africa has long been a leader in the field of transplantation. However, regardless of these medical innovations, South Africa still has a serious shortage of organ donors.
There are many reasons that keep donor numbers low, ranging from cultural and religious beliefs to the lack of education on the matter.
This August, South Africans are coming together to say we are proud to be organ donors – the key message for this year’s Organ Donation Month. And with registrations increasing since 2016, it’s clear that more people are sitting up and taking note.
Here are five reasons why you too should register to become an organ donor:
- Approximately 4 300 South Africans are waiting for a life-saving organ or cornea transplant:
The highest number of patients on the waiting list at this stage are for kidneys. Renal failure is affecting a lot of people and with an increase in lifestyle diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, more and more people are looking to organ donation for help.
- Only 0.2% of South Africans are registered as organ donors:
There are currently only ± 30,000 registered organ donors in South Africa. According to an online survey in 2017, 78% of the people asked said they would be happy to accept a donated organ. However, only 71% of those surveyed were willing to donate their organs.
- Donating your organs can save up to seven lives:
Your heart, liver and pancreas can save three lives and your kidneys and lungs can help up to four people. In addition to this, you can help up to 50 people by donating your corneas, skin, bone, tendons and heart valves. You also have the option of donating to research laboratories and universities.
- Almost anybody can be an organ donor:
As long as you’re under the age of 70 and in good health; and clear of any predefined chronic diseases.
- Registration is quick:
You can register as an organ donor by contacting the Organ Donor Foundation toll-free line on 0800 22 66 11, or by registering online. Once you’ve successfully registered, the Organ Donor Foundation will email you an organ donor card to carry in your wallet to make your intentions known in case of an emergency.
Show your support in the final act of love and generosity toward others – register as an organ donor today.