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 NEXT ON HEALTH24X The value of digital technology in addressing quality care 2017-05-17 04:48 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 7 weird health tips that are actually true Diet and nutrition More than 10 reasons why rooibos is good for you Diet and nutrition 3 ways to feel better about yourself in 2018 News 7 celebrities with chronic illnesses Sex Should you pee before or after sex? An expert explains once and for all Lifestyle How to stop all your bad habits in their tracks From our sponsors Managing diabetes in the workplace Back-to-school with diabetes Discover treatments that can help reduce acne What can I do to reduce or remove acne marks? Live healthier Watch out! » Gross fungal infections you can pick up at the gym You go to gym to exercise. But make sure the only thing you pick up is a dumbbell and not one of these gross fungal infections. Holiday health » Your 10-step asthma holiday checklist Don’t let asthma ruin your summer holiday. Whether you are travelling or embracing the summer at home, make sure you plan ahead.