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These Students Started A Movement To Deal With M'sia's Crippling Lack Of Organ Donors

In the blink of an eye, another celebration is upon us. Malaysia Day is tomorrow and what a joyous year it is to be celebrating the unity of Malaya, North Borneo and Sarawak to form our country to what it is today. We’ve seen a few achievements from the people that have made us proud to call ourselves Malaysians.

Yet an underlying issue that continues to persist due to lack of awareness grows rapidly.

There has been a reported amount of 19,500 Malaysians registered on the organ donation list since February of this year with only 1% of the Malaysian population registering as organ donors. Out of all those on the organ donations list, 99.8% of them are kidney patients.

There was an accumulated amount of 71 organ donors last year which has helped significantly compared to previous records yet so many are still waiting for a kind soul to aid them.

Here’s your chance to be a hero.

Donate To Save A Life

Image Credit: Be A Hero
Image Credit: Be A Hero

Be A Hero Malaysia is a social initiative started by four youths who were chosen by McKinsey (Malaysia) to be a part of their Youth Leadership Academy. The YLA is a 12-week development program that is geared towards helping undergraduate students build leadership skills and inspire others to drive change.

As part of the program, these four students from Team Healthcare decided to focus on the dire situation concerning the lack of organ donations in Malaysia and promote awareness about it to increase pledge rates of organ donors in our country.

The four youths consist of Bhavan Sarpal, Vinodini Thiagarajan, Angeline Yeoh and Russell Gan, who are all in their early twenties and are currently in the midst of completing their undergraduate studies.

Facts About Organ Donation

So what exactly does donating an organ mean?

Organ donation involves the process of donating organs or tissue from a living or dead person to be transplanted into a living recipients, who in many cases, is very ill or dying. Organ donation has been proven to save lives or improve quality of life.

There are two types of donations that can be done. One is from a patient who has passed on due to brain death, which occurs when the brain stops functioning permanently due to being so badly damaged.

The other type is a living donation which is done while the donor is still alive and chooses to donate a kidney, a small section of their liver, discarded bone from a hip or knee replacement and also their amniotic membrane (placenta).

Part of the reasons why many may be deterred by the idea of organ donations is due to misconceptions that may have been spread regarding this problem. So here are some clarifications for questions you may have about organ donations:

  • Is there an age limit?

There is no age limit for donating. Healthcare professionals determine the suitability of your organs based on strictly medical criteria rather than age.

Even those under the age of 18 can register as an organ donor seeing as how there are children who need transplants for organs smaller than those an adult can provide.

  • Does my religion allow me to donate my organs?

The major religions in Malaysia such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Sikh have clarified their support for the idea of organ donation and transplants.

However, if there is any doubt or concern, it is advised to consult your religious leader or teacher for further discussion.

  • Will transplanting my organs affect the appearance of my body?

There will be no physical disfigurement when it comes to organ and tissue donations. Organ donation is different from autopsy (post-mortem) and is usually done in the operating theatre.

And what’s most important out of all of this is that no organs and tissues will be removed without the consent of the next of kin or family.

So don’t allow trivial paranoia stop you from pledging to save a life. This Malaysia day, let’s help out our fellow people who may be suffering from a disease that can be healed from a simple donation of an organ.

More information about Be A Hero Malaysia can be found here on their Facebook page.

Feature Image Credit: Be A Hero Malaysia

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