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Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation
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LETTER TO THE EDITOR Table of Contents   
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 750-751
Kidney diseases prevention and organ donation: Need for strategies

Masters in Hospital and Health Administration, P.O. Box 69432, 31547, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication26-Jun-2010

How to cite this article:
Turkomani AM. Kidney diseases prevention and organ donation: Need for strategies. Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl 2010;21:750-1

How to cite this URL:
Turkomani AM. Kidney diseases prevention and organ donation: Need for strategies. Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl [serial online] 2010 [cited 2020 Jul 15];21:750-1. Available from: http://www.sjkdt.org/text.asp?2010/21/4/750/64670
To the Editor,

I am a former dialysis patient, for few years, and second kidney transplant recipient. I feel blessed to have a compassionate family, as my brother donated his kidney to me 10 years ago and my partner in life, my beloved wife, dona­ted the second, a few months ago. I have been through rough times and I appreciate every moment of my new kidney.

I regularly read articles that deal with many issues related to kidney transplantation, which expose various illegal and unacceptable me­thods in playing with peoples' lives, such as selling and buying organs. I realize that such activities occur due to desperate needs from kidney patients. Among patients who suffer from the ups and downs of dialysis and are anxious to be normal again, desperation leads to vulnerability, which in turn creates a black market that takes advantage of those under distress.

This exploitation of individuals to get their organs and selling it, in the minds of interme­diaries and their associates, is a matter of sup­ply and demand, which will continue unless we put our effort together to reduce and elimi­nate such abuse. Therefore, we need to deve­lop an awareness strategy to demonstrate the consequences and establish a campaign for organ donation.

Unfortunately, many articles concentrate on inaugurating more dialysis units and revealing various statistics on the increasing number of failures. Excellent as it may be, what are we doing to prevent it? We need an awareness strategy to stay healthy, avoid kidney disease and failure, and push for organ donation.

A full fledged campaigning strategy has pro­ven success For example, breast cancer aware­ness has improved considerably because of the aggressive advertisements (billboards, TV, con­ferences, gatherings, shopping bags, and the list goes on), the pink ribbon, the support of big companies, and use of celebrities. The ques­tion that always repeats itself, have we done anything similar to prevent kidney diseases and to promote organ donation?

People do not choose to become kidney fai­lure patients; however, if everyone is taught and made aware of the main factors that can potentially cause kidney failure, it will trans­late to lesser failure and healthier individuals. We need to educate our children, involve them, and challenge them on understanding the cause and its effect. It is essential to visit schools and build a system that can try to de-feat the main causes of kidney failure, such as diabetes and hypertension. It is our responsibility to talk about these diseases and encourage people around us to change their eating habits and life style in order to deter such diseases as well as "it will never happen to me" attitude.

As for organ donation, most people, by na­ture, are philanthropists and would like to do something good for their fellow humans. How­ever, when it comes to organ donation, they tend to think twice, unless it affects a family member or next of kin.

This is where we need to build a strategy and plan our steps, just like campaigning against breast cancer. As mentioned earlier, creative advertisements, developing an emblem, invol­ving religious idols to explain and support their religion's viewpoint as well as the spiritual be­nefits in giving the greatest gift of all, the "gift of life", are required.

Utilization of celebrities, icons, and indivi­duals who have gone through the daily agony of dialysis, diet restrictions, and withdrawals before then they were fortunate to find either living or cadaver donor who changed his/her life to normal again will be of great benefit. We need to target regular day-to-day indivi­duals and not only professionals, by schedu­ling many conferences. We need to arrange tours to dialysis units, spare a page or two in a magazine, and employ popular TV and radio shows to educate and solicit; this is how we can make this happen.

We need to reach out to those who are wil­ling to donate but have a doubt, those who think, "it will never happen to me" and stimu­late their emotions on "what if" and "what will you do", how they will react if it does happen to them.

Gratefully, not forgetting those individuals who voluntarily decide and choose to be do­nors we need to assemble a reward system that shows our appreciation, as a society, because as a recipient, there is no limit to show appre­ciation and gratitude. Such donors should ap­pear in conferences, TV shows, and their pho­tographs should be displayed on buses, taxis, and covers of magazines. They are individuals who chose to make a difference in this world whether for a family member, next of kin, a friend, or a total stranger. These individuals want to do well in their lives and are dedicated to help others. Others, who would like to lead a normal life, go to work, and fulfill their dreams that they thought for a while lost.

Imparting relevant education is essential to increase awareness about organ donation that will make transplants possible, and in turn save lives. The target is to have people discuss organ donation on a regular basis, with their peers, friends, and family to persuade them to be donors and inform them of their willingness to do so when the time comes.

We need to make professionals and indivi­duals who are knowledgeable in organ trans­plantation and donation available to those who never discussed donation with someone. We need to advertise the reality and eliminate the falsehood so that we can develop and produce communities that will champion and sponsor organ donation.

Finally, the ball is in our court to act on these issues. It is a well known fact that no one would like to be ill, or lose an organ, but the fact is, being ill or losing an organ is part of life and it is up to us to make the difference.

Correspondence Address:
Abdulhamid M Turkomani
Masters in Hospital and Health Administration, P.O. Box 69432, 31547, Dammam
Saudi Arabia
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PMID: 20587889

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