The Turkish Transplant Foundation says there is need for countries to strengthen legal frameworks to curb trafficking in human organs.
Foundation Board Chairman Eyub Kahveci says this is because trafficking in human organs is hampering organ donation and transplantation.
ZNBC’s Effie Mphande reports from Turkey that Dr. Kahveci was speaking at a press conference shortly after the Media Workshop on organ donation and transplantation, which was organised as part of International Transplant Network and supported by Istanbul Development Agency.
He advised developing countries that intend to establish organ donation and transplantation centres to first put in place legal frameworks.
Dr. Kahveci explained that punishment for organ trafficking should also be clearly defined in the law.
He also appealed to journalists to create awareness on organ donation and transplantation so that people are not deceived.
‘’Press members should raise awareness so that people are not deceived” Dr. Kahveci said.
Dr. Kahveci explained that the media is a key stakeholder in educating people on organ donation and transplantation.
And speaking at the same function, Head of Organ Donation Coordinators Society Yavuz Selim Cinar said more than 80 percent of transplantation conducted in Turkey are from living donors.
Dr. Cinar explained that living donors alone cannot meet the demand for organ donation and transplantation and that there is need to widen the scope from deceased donors.
‘’We still have a lot to do, deceased donation is not enough, we need to focus on expanding deceased donor pool so that there can be hope for people on the waiting list” Dr. Cinar said.
The majority of deceased organ donations take place after a physician has declared the patient to be brain dead.
According to the American Academy of Neurology, brain death is the irreversible loss of clinical function of the brain, including the brain stem and is a legal declaration of death.
Turkey has over two hundred and fifty Transplantation Centres.
Transplanted organs and tissue in Turkey include Kidney, Liver, heart, lung, pancreas, small intestine, heart valve, cornea, bone, bone marrow and skin.