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Organ transplant system will save lives

[ 2009-06-05 13:53]     字号 [] [] []  
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The health ministry is renewing its call to establish an organ donation system to save more patients from dying while they wait for transplants.

An estimated two million Chinese need organ transplants each year, but only 20,000 operations are performed because of a severe shortage of matching donations.

However, people willing to help others by donating organs after death have found there is no mechanism to do so.

"Once the system is in place, willing donors can help save more lives," vice-minister Huang Jiefu said on Wednesday.

Under the program, which is still in development, the Red Cross Society of China will be in charge of encouraging the general public to donate organs and tissues after death to save more people in dire need of transplants, according to its executive director Jiang Yiman.

"Willing donors will be registered nationwide," she said. "It will serve as a bridge to link possible donors and recipients."

China has not previously had such an organization to handle and manage human organ donations, making it hard to allocate donated organs in a proper and timely fashion.

"A waiting list of patients will be made public to secure transparent and fair practice in terms of organ allocation and procurement," Jiang said.

"It will help optimize the allocation and use of donated organs, and facilitate our work," said Chen Tongqing, a transplant surgeon at the First People's Hospital of Foshan, Guangdong province.

The Red Cross started to plan the system with assistance from the health ministry in 2007.

"We are now busy building up the team for this and training people," Jiang explained.

Currently, the Red Cross only deals with after-death body donations, which are used mainly for medical research and education. As of 2007, there were 877 registration centers and 81 receiving units under the Red Cross for body donation in 55 cities across the country.


1. How many Chinese need organ transplants each year?

2. What organization began planning the new organ transplant system with help from the health ministry?

3. What type of donations does the Red Cross currently only deal with?


1. An estimated two million.

2. The Red Cross.

3. After-death body donations.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Organ transplant system will save lives

About the broadcaster:

Organ transplant system will save lives

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.