Caixin
Oct 19, 2016 04:41 PM

Organ Donations for Transplants Jump 50% in First Nine Months of Year

 

(Beijing) — The number of organ donations in China jumped 50%, to 2,950, in the first three quarters of 2016 compared with a year earlier.

Li Bin, head of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, told an international conference on organ donations on Monday that authorities recorded 8,866 donations by the end of 2015, which contributed to 25,000 organs being used in transplant operations across China.

China introduced a system to encourage donations in 2014 after the practice of harvesting organs from executed prisoners was banned amid persistent criticism from international rights groups. Since the government ban went into effect in January 2015, the number of voluntary donations has soared in what has become the only legitimate source of organs for transplants.

China ranks first in Asia in organ donations, said Chen Zhu, director of the Red Cross Society of China. About 260 out of 100 million people in China have made an organ donation in the first nine months of the year, up from 3 people out of 100 million several years ago.

There are no official statistics to indicate how severe the organ shortage in China is, but the state-run Xinhua News Service, quoting official statistics, said that surgeons performed 11,000 organ transplants in China last year.

Contact reporter Li Rongde (rongdeli@caixin.com); editor Calum Gordon (calum@caixin.com)

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