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Organ donor numbers surge

Wang Xiaodong and Shan Juan
Updated: Mar 8,2017 10:10 AM     China Daily

Nearly 220,000 people have registered themselves as organ donors in China, and the number is expected to increase rapidly with the help of internet technologies, according to the China Organ Donation Administrative Center.

The number of people who have registered to become volunteers for organ donation in China reached 219,365 on March 6, Hou Fengzhong, deputy director of the center, said on March 7.

On March 6, guided by Chen Jingyu, a leading lung transplant surgeon from Jiangsu province and a deputy to the National People’s Congress, Shen Jinjin, a public health expert and an NPC deputy from Jiangsu, registered online to become an organ donor, with the whole process taking less than a minute.

Shen said that, as a doctor, his “biggest wish is to see more donors, so patients waiting for organ transplants don’t die while they are waiting due to a lack of organs”.

The number of organ donation volunteers has increased rapidly in the past few years due to the use of internet technologies, according to the China Organ Transplantation Development Foundation.

The foundation cooperated with Alipay, the online payment platform of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, meaning that since Dec 22, real-name users of Alipay have been able to register to become organ donors on the payment platform in just 10 seconds, said Zhao Hongtao, deputy secretary-general of the foundation.

In two and a half days, more than 86,200 people registered to become donors, which is equivalent to the total number of registrations for the previous two years, Zhao said.

Registering to become a donor volunteer does not mean people are obliged to donate their organs after death, and they can cancel their registration any time at their will, the foundation said.

Huang Jiefu, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee and chairman of the China National Organ Donation and Transplantation Committee, said the concept of organ donation should be promoted using internet technologies.

“Such methods can help promote the idea of organ donation among the public, particularly the younger generation, who are major internet users,” Huang said.