HONG KONG — In the first half of 2016, China has completed 1,795 cases of organ donation, up 45 percent compared to the same period of last year, a Chinese official said here on Aug 18.
“At present, China’s annual average number of organ donation ranks first in Asia and third around the world,” Wang Haibo, head of China Organ Transplant Response System (COTRS), told the 26th International Congress of the Transplantation Society (TTS) in Hong Kong.
There were 2,766 donation cases in China last year, Wang said, which exceeded the total number of 2013 and 2014.
First held in China, the TTS congress is the largest and most authoritative academic conference in organ transplantation, which gathered experts from all over the world to discuss the progress that China has made and other academic topics in organ transplantation.
Professionals from China and abroad noted that China’s regulations, systems and standards of organ transplantation have been brought in correspondence with the guiding principles of World Health Organization (WHO) and other internationally recognized standards.
Li Bin, head of the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China, said China has created the “Chinese Mode” of organ donation when she delivered a speech through her representative.
“The Chinese government’s attitudes toward organ transplantation is consistent and clear,” Li said, adding that China is aimed at developing organ transplantation in a legal and legitimate way in all the aspects such as organization, techniques, implementation, transportation and supervision.
The Chinese government started the work of organ donation after citizens’ decease in 2010 and banned the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners in 2015, which made voluntary donation the only legal source of organs.
TTS President Philip O’Connell said, TTS is pleased to see the progress that China has made in the cessation of use of organs from executed prisoners after decade of reform, and they will continue to support the Chinese people who need organ transplantation.
Jose Nunez, a WHO officer in charge of global organ transplantation, said after visiting China several times that he is impressed with the changes done so far, the progress and the determination, not only from professionals but also from health authorities to build the transplantation reform.
He said there were more than 2,700 voluntary donations and 10,500 patients transplanted during 2015, and an estimated increase of 40 to 50 percent this year, which is a clear demonstration of a fair system.
“A transplantation reform on the basis of voluntary community-based deceased organ donation is the only legitimate source for deceased organ transplantation, aligned with the WHO guiding principles, consistent with the Declaration of Istanbul,” he said, adding that measures have been taken to ensure transparency, fairness and traceability of the whole process.
Li said representing a creative exploration of ways to develop organ transplantation, the “Chinese mode” may serve as an aspiration for the rest of the world, especially the countries that face similar challenges as China to solve the shortage of human organs for transplant.