Red Cross acts on organ donation

Updated: 2012-12-27 03:32

By Li Wenfang in Guangzhou (China Daily)

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The Red Cross Society of China said it will reveal further details in March of a foundation to assist needy families of organ donors.

Zhao Baige, executive vice-president of the Red Cross Society of China, said work has been completed on defining the sources of the fund for the foundation, identifying people who are entitled to payments, and figuring out the means of calculating payments.

The seed fund is already in place and available, she said, adding that the foundation's management will be based on humanitarian and moral principles.

The foundation will provide only part of the help to donors' families, which should also include psychological aid from the donation coordinators, she said.

Zhao was attending a ceremony in Guangzhou on Wednesday to sign a letter of intent between the Ministry of Health and Rotary International District 3450, whose area is Hong Kong, Macao and Mongolia. Rotary International is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian services and encourages high ethical standards in vocations.

The two parties, together with the China Organ Transplant Response System Research Center at the University of Hong Kong and the No 1 Hospital Affiliated to Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, will cooperate in the promotion of organ donations and international exchanges in this field.

They will also seek an organ donation and allocation system that best matches the circumstances of China.

Training sessions, for example, will be provided to some of those managing organ donations and donation coordinators next year.

The project will help improve transparency and fairness in organ donations, allocation and use, said Vice-Minister of Health Huang Jiefu said.

Huang added the trial organ donation system in selected regions on the mainland launched in 2010 will be expanded across the country in February.

By the middle of December, China had recorded 547 organ donations under the trial project initiated by the Ministry of Health and the Red Cross Society of China, Huang said.

The country's organ efforts have received support from top Party and government officials, including those in the newly elected central leadership, Huang said, pledging to donate organs himself in the future.

Dismissing media reports that about 1.5 million people are placed on a waiting list for organ transplants every year in China but that only about 10,000 patients a year get organs, Huang said the actual demand-supply ratio is estimated at 20-to-1 to 30-to-1.