Let your families know, centre urges organ donors

Ms Khamisah Othman smiling as she is visited by Hospital Kuala Lumpur Nephrology Department head Datuk Dr Ghazali Ahmad, National Transplant Resource Centre head Datin Dr Lela Yasmin Mansor and trainee nurse Ummi Aisyah at the intensive care unit.

MALACCA - Malaysians who have pledged their organs should inform their families about it, says National Transplant Resource Centre (NTRC) head Datin Dr Lela Yasmin Mansor.

She said that the next-of-kin were the ones who would be giving the consent before any organ harvesting was performed on a patient.

"It is important for someone intending to pledge his or her organ to discuss it with the family," she said.

"This communication in advance between them could save a lot of undue pressure on the family later," Dr Lela said after attending the state Health Department Organ Donation Awareness Campaign here yesterday.

The campaign saw some 500 trained volunteers hitting the streets to encourage members of the public to become organ donors.

Dr Lela noted that about 3,000 kidney patients died of organ failure in Malaysia last year with more than 6,000 new ones recorded at the end of last year.

"A total of 18,373 patients are waiting for organ transplant as of October," she said.

The number of pledges, said Dr Lela, was increasing although not many Malaysians were ready for organ donation.

Nurul Syazwani Alias, 19, a Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka undergraduate, said pledging her organs was something "necessary".

"I have pledged to donate my heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, bones, skin tissue and corneas," she said. "It is the right thing to do."

State Health and Sport Development committee chairman Datuk Ab Rahaman Ab Karim was present to launch the campaign.