Most KZN patients needing organ transplants 'will die waiting'

2016-03-09 10:51


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Durban – The Organ Donor Foundation is hoping to raise awareness about KwaZulu-Natal's rapidly declining organ donor numbers.

At a media briefing on Tuesday at Gateway Private Hospital, it said there had been a steady decline in the average number of transplants.

The foundation's spokesperson, Jooste Vermeulen, said recent numbers had shown that only 18 transplants were performed in the province in 2014 compared to 163 in Gauteng and 136 in the Western Cape during the same year.

He added that the KZN figure could drop even lower when numbers for 2015 were correlated.

Vermeulen said more awareness and education was needed in KZN to "help save lives".

"Many people are desperately waiting for transplants. We must ask ourselves if this is fair to you in KwaZulu-Natal?

"The fact is that the majority of patients waiting for organ donations will not receive a transplant in time and will, sadly, die."

Spreading the message

Vermeulen appealed to the media to spread the message. He said their plight needed to be taken to the people who "sit in positions" where they can refer organs.

"The decline in KZN will lead to disaster. There is the potential in this province to assist many."

Vermeulen did, however, say that the foundation had, in the last five years, increased the number of registered donors by 500%.

"We appeal to the public to help us ensure organ donation does not die in KZN."

He added that despite the increase in registered donors, organ referrals were crucial to the donor process.

"Medical professionals who have access to potential donors need to [put] us in touch with these people. Everything that could be potentially used doesn't [get used] because of non-referrals.

"Why should people go to other provinces when all the expertise and infrastructure is here? We really need to help the patients and families. We have to help the mothers, fathers, children – the real faces behind this drive."

If you are interested in assisting the Organ Donor Foundation, their details are as follows: or contact their toll free number 0800226611 from 9:00 till 16:00 weekdays.

Read more on:    durban  |  health

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