TO EASE the difficulty of going to Manila to get an organ transplant, Health Secretary Enrique Ona announced that an organ donation center would soon rise in Davao City.

At the ceremony to officially rename the Davao Medical Center into the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), the health chief declared that the city is already ripe to host an organized system for organ donation and transplantation.

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“An organ donation program must be set up here. Davao has the capacity to perform kidney transplantation but there should be system for harvesting donated kidney. There is huge potential for donors from those (who figured) in accidents,” Ona told reporters.

“They should have an organ donation program here... just like a Red Cross chapter that has a blood center. There must be some sort of organ center that will facilitate organ donation and transplantation,” he added.

Ona, who was the former director of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), noted that, at present, majority of patients from Mindanao who are in need of kidney transplants still have go to specialty hospitals in Metro Manila.

Ona has also announced that the Department of Health (DOH) was giving the SPMC P3 million as seed money for the establishment of the organ donation program.

“We hope that with the seed money, they can start the establishment of a center, which, eventually, can be self-sustaining,” he quipped.

Estimated figures from the DOH states that there are some 100 to 200 per one million population suffer from renal failure, most of which need kidney transplants. (AMN/Sunnex)