THE Irish Kidney Association are currently running Organ Donor Awareness Week which continues until this Saturday, April 7. The focus of Organ Donor Awareness Week is to raise awareness about the ongoing and ever increasing demand for organ donation and transplantation and to seek support from the public to make an informed decision to be an organ donor in the event of their untimely death and to discuss their decision with their loved ones.
Organ Donor Awareness Week also serves as a fundraising exercise for the Irish Kidney Association. Throughout the week, Irish Kidney Association volunteers will be out on the streets and in shopping centres throughout the country selling forget me not flower emblems (the symbol of transplantation), brooches, magnetic car ribbons and pens.
Proceeds will go to the Irish Kidney Association’s support programme for patients on dialysis and those patients fortunate enough to have a kidney transplant. The support programme includes the running of a 10 double room accommodation facility for patients families in the grounds of Beaumont Hospital and holiday centres in Kerry and Tramore, as well as patient aid and counseling services, patient training and rehabilitative work placement, health promotion and the provision of kidney patient information and education. Donations can be made online via Paypal to the Irish Kidney Association.
“Last year was a record year for organ donation and also the year for the lowest number of road traffic deaths ever recorded in the state, dispelling the public myth that most organ donors come from road traffic accidents”, said Mark Murphy, chief executive of the Irish Kidney Association, at the national launch of Organ Donor Awareness Week recently.
Mr Murphy said that “to increase our levels of organ donation and transplantation the overriding wish would be for an Irish Organ Donor Registry to allow the public to voluntarily identify themselves on a database, similar to the practice in many countries including the UK. This data could be captured electronically and would be easily achieved and affordable with cooperation between our government departments”. For more information visit www.ika.ie.