|More than 8,000 patients throughout Viet Nam with chronic kidney failure are awaiting transplants. — Photo suckhoedoisong
HCM CITY (VNS) — The Ministry of Health on Saturday honoured 403 organ donors whose generosity has saved many patients and helped the country develop organ transplants.
The donors were given a medal as a token of their sacrifice - and a health insurance card.
The organs were used to treat patients in Cho Ray Hospital, Hospital 115 and the city's paediatric hospital.
At the ceremony, Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien thanked the donors and called for more people to participate in the donation programme.
More than 8,000 patients throughout Viet Nam with chronic kidney failure are awaiting transplants.
Another 1,500 need liver transplants and hundreds more need heart and lung transplants.
Tien said the ministry had set up a council to seek organ donors.
Nguyen Dinh Huu, who lives in HCM City's Binh Thanh District, suffers from serious kidney decline and has been on a dialysis machine three times a week for four years.
His family is kept poor by the expenses for treatment.
"When hearing that I would receive kidney transplant, I was very happy. I did not know who gave me the kidney, but I'm thankful," said Huu.
After a successful kidney transplant, Huu's condition is now described as stable.
A 50-year-old man from Go Vap District did not hesitate to register for organ donation.
"I saw a programme on organ transplants on the television six months ago and I was really moved. I immediately contacted the hotline of the Cho Ray Hospital to register," he said.
"I hope that after I die, I can help others live with my organs. My family encouraged my ideas."
Professor Tran Ngoc Sinh, head of the Urology Studies at HCM City Medicine and Pharmacy University, said that the sources of donated organs was limited because many people want to keep their bodies intact after death.
The sources of organs are live donors, brain-dead donors and heart-dead donors, he said.
Dr Nguyen Truong Son, director of Cho Ray Hospital, said that there had been 1,241 organ transplants in the country, including 1,200 kidney transplants.
The first human organ transplant was carried out by the Military Medical University and Cho Ray Hospital in Viet Nam in 1992.
The first organ transplant from brain-dead donors in Viet Nam was conducted at Cho Ray Hospital in April 2008. — VNS