DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Davao City Council has passed an ordinance to institutionalize organ donation in the city and promote its awareness among Davawenyos.
The Organ Donation Ordinance of Davao City authored by first district Councilor Pilar Braga was passed last Thursday October 29.
Braga, who chairs the council’s committee on education, said the passage of the ordinance aims to inform and promote the public on the culture of organ donation for organ transplant that could save lives, and to correct cultural beliefs regarding this practice.
One of these beliefs is that a deceased person can no longer donate its organ for transplant operations. Braga said that the ordinance supports the Organ Donation Act of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7170) which considers persons who are clinically dead can still be a qualified donor.
“In this campaign, a deceased person can help others who are in need of an organ transplant in order to live or extend life,” the councilor said in her speech on the passage of this ordinance.
The need for organ donation to save lives had been pushed by some health groups for some time.
Dr. Maria Theresa Bad-an, a nephrologist and head of the Southern Philippines Medical Center-Human Advocate and Retrieval Effort (SPMC-SHARE) said the ordinance can help address the needs of thousands of kidney patients in Davao Region.
In an article from the government’s Philippine News Agency, Davao Region ranked third in 2016 with the most number of dialysis patients. Bad-ang said an average of 1,500 Davaoeños start on dialysis every year and there is an increase of 10 percent every year.
Bad-ang stressed that organ donation is the best option for persons with renal or kidney failure, but noted that there the region only recorded six donors in 2018 for about 280 eligible donors who refused to donate.
The ordinance will lead to the creation of an organ donation council that will spearhead information awareness campaigns, monitoring of organ donation and guidance for families involved in organ donation. A task force unit will be created under the City Health Office (CHO) to implement the program. (davaotoday.com)