The regional office of the Department of Health (DOH) encouraged its health workers to become organ donors and advocate for organ donation in their respective communities.
Director of DOH 4-A (Calabarzon), Dr. Eduardo Janairo, noted that about 128 patients were waiting for organ donation in the country. He said 15 patients had been given replacement organs and seven organs came from deceased organ donors were ready to be transplanted as of last March.
“Some of these patients are lucky to get their organs replaced but most of them die in waiting due to lack of donor,” Janairo said.
To promote this advocacy and raise awareness of the importance of organ donation, DOH 4-A held a three-day “Orientation on Kidney and Organ Donation” for its medical practitioners and barangay health workers here from September 30 to October 2.
Regional Non-Communicable Disease cluster head, Dr. Marilou R. Espiritu, who spearheaded the orientation, underscored the benefits of being an organ donor.
“It can save and improve the lives of up to eight people, by donating one heart, two lungs, one liver, one pancreas, two kidneys, and intestines,” Espiritu said.
She added that with one donor alone, 50 more lives can be improved and saved with the donation of the eyes and tissues, among others.
“A voluntary and altruistic act, free and consented where the identity of both the donor and recipient are kept confidential for the protection of their family’s privacy,” Espiritu said, echoing Janairo’s call for health workers to become organ donors and advocate for organ donation in their respective communities.
Organ donation is the giving of an organ or part of an organ to be transplanted into another individual, while organ transplantation is the medical procedure in which an organ is removed from one’s body and placed in the body of another person to replace a damaged or missing organ.
Republic Act 7170, also known as the Organ Donation Act of 1991, and amended by Republic Act 7885, identifies the human transplantable organs — the kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, intestines, and pancreas, as well as human tissues, such as eye tissues, bones, skin, and blood vessels.
A 2018 report from the DOH’s Health Facilities and Services Bureau cited that there are twenty eight transplant centers in the country – 13 in Metro Manila and 15 in various provinces. Two transplant facilities can be found in Batangas – the Mary Mediatrix Medical Center in Lipa and St. Frances Cabrini Medical Center in Sto. Tomas.
The Philippines has 41 active transplant surgeons, 593 nephrologists, and 562 dialysis centers. (PNA)