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Health ministry calls for more organ donations

Twenty kidney transplants are performed annually and more than 1,000 patients are on dialysis, the ministry of health announced Friday, on the occasion of ‘World Organ Donation and Transplant Day.’

The ministry took the opportunity to urge the public to learn about posthumous organ donation, in particular, saying this is an act we must all embrace.

It is important for the public to understand that from a single posthumous donor, up to nine patients may be saved, the announcement said. The organs that can be transplanted are the kidneys, heart, liver, lungs, pancreas and part of the small intestine.

Describing organ donors as a “bridge between life and death” for people with end stage organ failure, the ministry’s announcement added, “many of our fellow human beings are on the waiting list [and] their only hope to have a second chance at life rests on each of you.”

Recently, the state health service Okypy inaugurated a new modern transplant clinic at Nicosia General Hospital which will contribute greatly to the promotion of transplants in Cyprus. Memoranda of cooperation signed in with Spain and Israel will also strengthen collaboration and exchange of expertise in the field, the ministry said.

Last month it was revealed that Cyprus has a very low number of organ donors in relation to other EU countries.

Only 253 transplant have taken place in Cyprus since 2011, some 173 from live donors and 80 from deceased registered organ donors.  This averages out at approximately 23 a year. Transplants were suspended during the pandemic and restarted on September 1 this year.

The data was revealed during a visit to Cyprus last month by Spain’s health minister Carolina Darias on a tour of the clinic with her Cypriot counterpart Michalis Hadjipantela.

Commenting on Spain’s know-how in the field, Darias said at the time that in her country the 2021 rate was 40.2 donors per million people, which is one of the highest rates in Europe.

The public can register as organ donors on the health ministry’s website at www.moh.gov.cy, by clicking on the question “Do you want to become an organ donor [email protected] ?”

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