KUALA LUMPUR: There are 21,778 people, including those in the final stages of organ failure, currently on the waiting list for organ transplants.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said from the total, 21,759 were kidney patients, eight were liver patients, four were heart disease patients, three lung patients, while four are in urgent need of both lung and heart transplants.
“Although there has been an increase in the number of organ donors at 401,242 people, it only represents 1.3 per cent of the total Malaysian population at the moment,” he told the Dewan Negara today.
Subramaniam said, in an effort to encourage more Malaysians to become organ donors, the ministry has set up an Organ Donation Strategic Campaign Plan in 2012.
He said the plan has outlined six strategies. One of it, he said, was by zeroing in on youths as they are particularly receptive to learning about organ donation and have positive attitudes on the subject.
“Secondly, the ministry has also established partnerships with other government agencies, non-governmental agencies, government-linked companies, the private sector and individuals with influence.
“We also have been working to strengthen the organisational structure of the transplant services to ensure an effective and efficient service delivery.
“The fourth strategy will be by tackling false perceptions among communities regarding organ donation from religious and cultural perspectives.
“We also use the mass media and social media platforms to disseminate information and finally, by enhancing the awareness and commitment of health personnel to deliver the best to patients,” he said.
Subramaniam was responding to a question by Chandra Mohan Thambirajah (DAP-Selangor), who had asked the ministry to state the number of chronic illnesses patients who are on the waiting list for organ donations as of Oct 31 this year.