Home > Medical schemes > News Updated 15 August 2014 SA needs organ donors South Africa is experiencing a major shortage in organ donations according to the South African Organ Donor Foundation. 2 iStock Related Doctors likelier organ donors than general public 5-week-old baby becomes organ donor Brother donates kidney to end sister's suffering Like us on Facebook » Subscribe to the newsletter » Ask CyberDoc » Quiz How long will you live? » Medical history Bacteria gallery There is a critical shortage of organ donors in South Africa, the Organ Donor Foundation has said."Many, many people die waiting for a transplant," the foundation's executive director Samantha Volschenk said at the Donald Gordon Medical Centre in Johannesburg.Read: FAQ about organ donation in SA"There are currently 4300 adults and children awaiting transplants, with less than 600 transplants being performed a year," said Volschenk.Kidneys were most in demand. "Many patients suffer kidney failure," said Volschenk.Other organs in demand included livers, hearts, and lungs. "If patients don't get the organs they require, they will die," she said.Organ donation in the country remained stagnant, despite growing awareness on social media networks."In the last 24 months there has been an 80 to 90 percent growth in our social media and internet campaigns," said Volschenk.One of the people on the panel, specialist and transplant surgeon Dr Anna Sparaco, said there were no barriers to being a potential organ donor. "Everyone can be a donor, people can come in and volunteer and the process will start with evaluation to check if they are a possible donor," she said.Organ donation was a viable option as people only needed half a liver and only one of their two kidneys to survive."You can be a living donor," said Sparaco.Organ donation in South Africa was particularly important due to the population size, as well as the large number of diseases in the country. The ratio of two donors for every million people was also one of the main reasons why organ donations were so important in the country."In Spain there are 33 donors per million people," said Sparaco.The foundation was not directly involved in medical procedures and processes, but focused on awareness of the shortage of organ donors."We are involved in all types of awareness campaigns relating to organ transplant including media interviews, talks at schools and seminars," said Volschenk.Read more:Risks for kidney donors declineCharacter counts when it comes to organ donation SAPA More in Medical schemes Post-op costs sky-high in some US hospitals More: Medical schemesNews advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 2 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Lifestyle Legal marijuana unlikely to tempt more kids Fitness Boosting muscle strength may improve memory Lifestyle Women catching up fast with male alcohol use Parenting Epidural better than 'laughing gas' for labour pain Parenting Infants should share parents' room to help prevent SIDS Lifestyle Blood for transfusion doesn't have to be fresh From our sponsors Keep an eye on your vision Which skin products are better, ‘medical grade’ or ‘over-the-counter’? Win 1 of 6 R5000 cash prizes Win a R2 000 Skin Renewal voucher Live healthier Exercise benefits for seniors » Working out in the concrete jungle Even a little exercise may help prevent dementia Here’s an unexpected way to boost your memory: running Seniors who exercise recover more quickly from injury or illness When sedentary older adults got into an exercise routine, it curbed their risk of suffering a disabling injury or illness and helped them recover if anything did happen to them. No relief for MS » Drug shows promise against MS in mouse study Vitamin D may slow multiple sclerosis Obesity in girls tied to higher MS risk Exercise may not lower women's risk of MS A Harvard study showed no evidence to support the idea that exercise lowers the risk of multiple sclerosis.