Surgeons at work during a kidney transplant surgery. Picture: AP
Surgeons at work during a kidney transplant surgery. Picture: AP

Thousands on waiting list for life-saving organ transplants

By Goitsemang Tlhabye Time of article published Aug 4, 2020

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Pretoria - The month of August is not just a time for observing and celebrating women, but a time to remember that over 4 300 South Africans are desperately waiting for a second chance at life.

The 2019 statistics noted how roughly 4 300 South Africans were on the waiting list for a life-saving organ or cornea transplant, but only 0,2% of the population were registered as organ donors.

What was more worrying according to the Transplant Education for Living Legacies (TELL) non-profit organisation, was that in South Africa, in particular, the process of identifying and referring potential donors still remained a major stumbling block.

Additionally, with the country already experiencing a shortage of organ donors and the lack of education, the organisation said this was only making matters more difficult.

Furthermore, the organisation said what was more disheartening was that even though women were more likely to register for organ donation, they were also less likely to receive organ donations.

It was for this reason why the organisation said they were combining Women’s Month celebrations alongside National Organ Donation Awareness Month, and encouraging South Africans to make the decision to become an organ donor.

The organisation called for the improved participation of women in the transplant process by raising awareness and the publishing of gender-specific data for dialysis and transplant centres; workshops to eliminate gender-bias within institutions, health-care providers and the establishment of gender-specific support groups.

As well as the creation of transplant teams that were more sensitive to the social complexities of women’s lives.

Pretoria News

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