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PM urges Vietnamese adults to donate organs
Anh Kiet 19:23, 2024/05/20
Thanks to the noble sacrifices of organ donors, organ transplantation in Vietnam has made remarkable progress over the past three decades.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has registered for deceased donation of his tissues and organs and called on all Vietnamese adults, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, or region, to register as organ donors to help save the lives of others.

 Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh is happy with an organ registration card. Photos: VGP  

"Organ and tissue donation is one of the most valuable gifts a person can make to others," Chinh said at the launch of the Organ and Tissue Donation Campaign in Hanoi last weekend, hosted by the Ministry of Health (MoH), the Vietnam Red Cross Society and the Organ and Tissue Donation Association.

The head of the government stressed that thousands of people in Vietnam have received successful organ transplants and their lives have been saved thanks to the generosity of kind-hearted people.

Chinh added that Vietnam's organ transplantation has made remarkable progress over the past three decades thanks to the noble sacrifices of organ donors, the efforts of medical staff, public support, and the government's incentive policies.

Since the first successful organ transplant 30 years ago, Vietnam has mastered the technique of transplanting all kinds of organs and has recently performed many multi-organ transplants.

"Vietnam used to be 50 years behind the world and about 20 years behind other countries in Southeast Asia in organ transplantation, but now it has caught up. The survival rate after organ transplantation in Vietnam is even higher than that of some developed countries, while the cost is much lower," Chinh pointed out. 

However, Chinh expressed concern about the limited sources of post-brain death organ donation and the fact that organ transplant demand is still unmet. He therefore urged ministries, sectors, and local authorities to step up their work on information technology to make it quicker and easier for people to register for organ and tissue donation so that everyone who is eligible can be registered.

Chinh emphasized that since organ donation is completely voluntary and not for financial gain, all acts of commercialization, including the buying and selling of human tissues and organs, must be outlawed.

At the ceremony, Prime Minister Chinh and heads of government agencies were among those who registered as donors, adding a total of 3,812 people to the organ donor database. 

 PM Pham Minh Chinh (C), Minister of Health Dao Hong Lan (3rd left), and doctors at Viet Duc Hospital, one of the biggest hospitals in Vietnam for transplants. 

For her part, Health Minister Dao Hong Lan encouraged all health officials and staff to register as tissue and organ donors in response to the Prime Minister's appeal.

She stressed that Vietnam has more than 30 years of experience in transplanting kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs, pancreases, and corneas, and its medical professionals have mastered these techniques. Currently, the country has 26 well-equipped organ transplant centers and its surgeons are able to perform advanced techniques.

"Vietnam started organ transplantation later than other countries in Southeast Asia, only 20 years ago, but in 2022 and 2023, Vietnam performed more than 1,000 operations, including kidney, liver, heart, and lung transplants, and today it is the country with the highest number of organ transplants per year in the region," the minister said.

However, the majority of tissue and organ donations in Vietnam come from living donors, accounting for 94%. With just over 86,000 people registered to donate tissues and organs after death, the waiting list for organ transplants is always tens of thousands of people, and dozens of people die every day for lack of organs to transplant.

Most Vietnamese still believe that their loved ones should cross over to the next world in one piece, and organ donation is too far removed from what has become a tradition in their age-old culture. When someone's death is imminent, their family often takes them home to die rather than have them spend their last moments in a hospital.

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