Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Are you registered organ donor?

If there is one thing South Africa does know how to do, it is how to produce actuality news programmes.

I just watched Special Assignment about kidney failure and the misery this results in for most sufferers due to lack of donors in South Africa.

A major cause of this are traditional beliefs. For my international readers, South Africa is an astonishing mix of first and third worlds. While some live Western life styles with pretty much everything you get in places like London, New York, etc, the majority live in poverty in rural areas or townships.

Among the poor, superstition and traditional beliefs hold sway. And these are against organ donation. Some believe that the body is needed for resurrection (a version of christian belief) and organ donation damages this future. Some believe that the organs contain elements of your ancestors and this results in mixing of ancestors.

All of which means South Africa is dreadfully short of donors.

I've always wanted my organs to be donated if something happened to me and this prompted me to formalise things.

It took 2 minutes to fill in the form on the South African organ donation site and they are now sending me a pack containing information and stickers to affix to my drivers licence, etc.

The other day I read the blog of someone who is donating their kidney to a friend . What unbelievable guts to choose to give up one of your kidneys for the rest of your life!

The South African Organ Donor Foundation site: http://www.odf.org.za


kyknoord said...

Welcome to the club. I've had my OD status added to my Medic Alert disc (in case someone makes off with my wallet before the authorities arrive)

Terri said...

I was a blood donor in SA since age 17. I figured it was the least I could do. The Irish don't want our blood though - don't you know Africa=AIDS? You'd be surprised at the 1st world/3rd world mix here too.
Turns out, though, that it's easy to be an organ donor here - pick up a card at any GP office, fill it in and carry it in your wallet. Yep, that's it. Very organised ;)