KOTA KINABALU: Three hundred and eighty nursing students of Kolej Sains Kesihatan Bersekutu (KSKB) and Aseana College of Health Sciences yesterday pledged to donate their organs during an organ donation awareness programme at the colleges yesterday.
With this, the total number of organ pledgers in Sabah for year 2012 stands at 1,160, which represents the highest number of pledgers per year in the state since 1997.
This is a great milestone for Sabah, where the total number of pledgers accounts for only 1.62% of the national total, placing the state at 11th spot in the country despite being the second largest state in the country.
Since 1997, there are only 3,264 pledgers in Sabah compared to Selangor and Johor, which have recorded the highest number of pledgers at 38,361 and 33,849 respectively.
The number of people who pledged their organs in the whole country since 1997 until June 2012 stands at 201,416.
A survey on attitudes of healthcare workers and students in Sabah is being carried out by the Regional Transplant Procurement Management Unit (RTPMU) of Sabah State Health Department and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).
This ongoing survey shows that the main reason for not pledging is a lack of information or awareness. Other reasons include fear of body disfigurement after death, fear of pain and family objection.
“It is our job to give accurate facts and educate the public regarding the organ donation efforts to avoid misconception of the subject,” said Dr Cheah Phee Kheng, the Regional Transplant and Procurement Manager during a talk to the nursing students.
He said even though there was an average of 18 deaths per day due to road accidents, there were only 378 organ donors over the last 15 years.