Why Should You Consider Becoming An Organ Donor?

We invite you to become an organ donor and help save lives.

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The education of patients and families should be evaluated as a primary process, where both overcome myths and fears in doctors. Photo: Pexels

LatinAmerican Post | Carlex Araujo

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Leer en español: ¿Por qué deberías considerar volverte donante de órganos?

For decades, the subject of organ transplantation has been mystified by people and various taboos have been created out of fear. However, with the passage of time, its progress and effectiveness have increased in order to offer better living conditions.

A study published in the Revista de Nefrología called "Principales causas negativas familiares a la donación de órganos” by María Isabel Molina, reveals that an organ donation is a voluntary act and that Latin American countries developed various strategies to strengthen said processes. The data collected indicates that denial is a current problem and only 75% of people are in favor of donation.

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On the other hand, the findings show that part of the refusal is provided by people's myths and beliefs. Experts report that 40.7% of potential donors refuse to donate while alive. Another very recurrent cause of refusal is that the family does not want to donate with 24% against, there was also a resounding no with 31% and finally, the will of the patient is respected with 17%.

In this sense, the education of patients and families should be evaluated as a primary process, where both overcome the myths and fears of doctors.

Why should you consider being a donor?

Currently, there is an exorbitant number of people, men, women, and children waiting for transplants. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) database, 17 people die every day while awaiting an organ transplant. However, each donor can save 8 lives and improve another 75.

By 2020, the list of patients for kidney transplantation reached between 90,000 and 100,000 people and only 20,000 received the donation. But, in the liver, heart, and lung transplant lists, what is required is constantly received. However, despite some of the lists ending, every 9 minutes another person is added to the inventory.

In Colombia, the panorama grew by just 21% due to the fact that there are still many taboos on organ donation and transplants. However, Astellas Farma Colombia worked together with Invamer on a report to identify the myths and beliefs that exist. The study was carried out in several cities in Colombia, such as Bogotá, Cali, Medellín, and Barranquilla in groups of women and men. The findings indicate that the myths and beliefs that Colombians had were based on fear, lack of depth, and ignorance.

  1. Belief 1: My religion does not allow me to donate organs.
  2. Belief 2: Being a donor makes me an easy target for organ trafficking.
  3. Belief 3: In order to donate my organs, I must register as a donor, but I don't know where or how to do it.
  4. Belief 4: Donors are incomplete or disfigured after the procedure.
  5. Belief 5: Socioeconomic status determines the priority in deciding who will be transplanted.

In the case of Latin America, the countries with the highest rates of organ donors are Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, however, the rest of the region maintains very low rates, below the world average.

Do you want to save lives? Donate your organs

According to the official page of the National Institute of Health of Colombia, you can express your desire to be a donor and obtain your donor card. The portal provides the information that is required regarding the procedures and the steps to follow.

  1. Enroll and participate in the INS External Performance Evaluation programs. You can participate in the program of your choice and registration is done online.
  2. Sign up and download your card. Too easy! Try it!

Likewise, the processes in most Latin American countries can be done through the health regulators of each country.

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