Health Ministry says number of organ donors among the young still low

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya. — Picture by K.E.Ooi
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya. — Picture by K.E.Ooi

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 9 — The Health Ministry is calling on more people from the young generation to pledge their organs during the ongoing organ-donation awareness campaign week.

Deputy Health Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said currently, 397,476 people or 1.2 per cent of the country’s total population had registered as organ donors, with 60.9 per cent of them aged 18 years and above.

He said the young generation should be the ones being ahead of others in the matter of organ donation as it would be easier for them to understand the process and procedures due to the continuous campaign drive on organ donation and transplantation carried out by the government.

“Although some people have pledged their organs, the public awareness level, especially among the young generation was still low, while organ pledges among this group were very much needed for certain reasons.

“We don’t understand why the young choose not to come forward to pledge their organs. Perhaps they are worried or have not yet understood the procedure of removing organs after the pledge has been made as organ donors.”

Dr Hilmi said this after flagging off participants of the ‘Let’s save Lives’ event held in conjunction with the launching of the national-level organ donation awareness campaign week.

Also present was National Organ Donation Public Awareness Action Committee chairman, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.

Dr Hilmi said out of the 397,476 organ-donation pledgers, 22.2 per cent were aged 40 years and above, 18-39 years (10.1 per cent) and the others (6.8 per cent).

“That is why there is a need for a continuous and concerted campaign with the hope of raising public awareness, especially among the young generation, to pledge their organs,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lee said the committee had invited a number of non-governmental organisations to discuss how the number of organ-donation pledgers could be increased and one of the decisions made was to carry out campaign roadshows in each state.

He said these roadshows had received encouraging response from the public after they received detailed explanations on organ donation from the committee members and representatives of the Health Ministry at the campaign locations.

“Besides that, we have also received the cooperation of Projek Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan (PLUS) which allowed its toll collectors to hand out pamphlets on organ donation to its expressway users,” he added. — Bernama