Cultural reason have been found to be the reason many people are not willing to donate skin and other organs that others desperately need.
Cultural reason have been found to be the reason many people are not willing to donate skin and other organs that others desperately need.

Cultural reasons hamper skin and organ donation drive

By Health-E News Time of article published Oct 9, 2018

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South Africa has a dire shortage of skin to treat burn victims but cultural reasons and a lack of information plays a role in people's reluctance to donate.

That is why the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Centre for Tissue Engineering and the Organ Donor Foundation have issued an urgent plea for more people to become skin and organ donors. 
TUT’s Sandra Venter said cultural reasons and a lack of information played a role in people's reluctance to donate.

“Organ and tissue donation is very important. It can saves lives. Every person in South Africa could make a difference, and we appeal to the public to make a decision in favour of donation after their own death,” she said.

Skin, which is harvested when a person dies, ensures that burn wounds heal quickly.

Dr Roux Martinez of the Red Cross War Memorial Hospital said since the inception of the skin banking activities at the centre in 2016, many lives have been saved through the use of donor skin.

She said 48 patients who suffered an average of 60% burns over their bodies had been successfully treated.

The university said every winter many of the burn victims die because there were no effective, affordable synthetic treatment options available in state hospitals.

Robert Mulaudzi of Joburg’s Emergency Management Services said during winter they had attended to 150 fires and encountered five fatalities.

“We encourage our residents to consider skin donation,” he said.

For more information on becoming a skin donor visit the Organ Donor Foundation's website www.odf.org.za Health-E News

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