By Ana Theresa Williams,BSN,RN
We only live once. But if we are sick and will be given a second chance to live, that will be the most incredible gift we can receive from our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
On November 22, at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) Mahogany Room, several partners and friends from different members of the society attended and supported the first in the Philippines – the procurement transplant program that aims to prevent organ trafficking for transplantation by promoting awareness.
DOH 11 Assistant Regional Director Dr. Annabelle Yumang yester-day said that with the type of culture that we have in our country, it is not usual to donate an organ.
With this new technology to adjust to the current trend, she said there is a need to raise more awareness since our Filipino culture is not so open about this procurement program.
Being the first in the Philippines, Dr. Yumang said this is something new to the Department of Health.
“We need further assistance for this program. Next year, we will be giving some funds to help for the training of personnel. The nurses and midwives need to be oriented about this program because procurement transplant basically means we need to buy, and so we need to correct any misconceptions about this program by explaining it simply in layman’s term most especially to the community level to avoid further misunderstandings in the future. We also need more time to explain to everyone in order to fight commercialization of kidney selling. The knowledge of people has still this fear about organ donation.”
Also, the assistant regional health director said we need to know the acceptance level of the person.
Chloe Balleste,MD, transplant procurement manager of the University of Barcelona Hospital said her country in Spain has been leading in the organ donation program like kidneys. To have enough organs and develop a sustainable organ transplant is very important, she said.
“As a medical staff, we provide the organ needed. But before that is to involve the society,” the transplant procurement manager said.
She said through mass media, it helps in spreading the correct information through campaigning. All newspapers in Spain have contributed a lot in promoting public awareness about procurement trans-plant.
Nephrologist and SPMC Human Advocate and Retrieval Effort head Maria Theresa “Techie” Lorenzo Bad-ang,MD shared the magnitude of the end-stage renal disease (ESRD) problem since 2015. She said the incidence of ESRD patients who were dialyzed for the first time was 18,603.
The prevalence rate was 32,077 – the total number of living patients on dialysis treatment in 2015, she said.
Based on the organ procurement and transplant network, the demand for organs was on the rise. Dr. Bad-ang noted that over the last decade, the national organ transplant waiting list has grown much faster than the supply of donors. “The total number of patients on the waiting list is 89,884 while the number of organ donors is only 14,488 as of 2005.”
This was the reason why the SPMC Human Advocate and Retrieval Effort, more known as SHARE, held their “ISN-TTS Sister Transplant Program of SPMC and University of Barcelona Inter-agency Pledge of Support Ceremony” on Wednesday morning to gather more partners and supporters for this cause. SPMC aims to strengthen their organ procurement organization to instill awareness and adapt a culture of donation in our country.
As what Intensive Care Unit doctor and transplant procurement manager Carmen Pantis,MD of Romania said, “There is life after death.”
Therefore, let us “Go Life, Go SHARE” now!