August is Organ Donor Awareness Month. South Africa is a world leader in the field of organ transplantation, however, while the number of patients waiting for transplants continues to increase, the serious shortage of potential donors remains a great concern.
When Professor Chris Barnard successfully completed the world’s first human heart transplant more than 40 years ago, it captured the imagination of the world. These days, organ transplants happen more regularly but not often enough, as there are more than 3 500 South Africans currently awaiting organ and tissue transplants.
In South Africa there is a critical shortage of organs such as hearts, livers, lungs, kidneys, pancreas and tissues such as corneas. Donating ones organs is potentially the greatest gift a person can give, the gift of life. The organ donor foundation encourages everyone to consider organ donation. By becoming an organ donor you could save up to seven lives.
Organ transplantation is without doubt one of the most miraculous achievements of modern medicine. However, many South Africans are currently unable to enjoy the benefits of a transplant because there are no suitable donated organs available for them. Transplantation depends on the generosity of those donors and their families who are willing to make this life-saving gift available to others.
To find out more about organ donation, or to register as a donor, contact the Organ Donor Foundation toll free on 0800 22 66 11, or log on to their website at www.odf.org.za.
Organ Donor Foundation: http://www.odf.org.za/