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 Ramaphosa launches anti-corruption forum ‘to protect the NHI Fund’ 2019-10-03 10:12 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 Medical Coronavirus in SA: All the confirmed cases Medical Scientists warn of false-negative results with Covid-19 virus tests - what are the SA implications? Medical 1 in 10 older patients with diabetes, hospitalised with Covid-19, dies - according to a new study Medical Scientists spot more genes linked to problem drinking Medical By the numbers, Covid-19 was never 'like the flu' Medical How the 2009 H1N1 pandemic can give us more insight into Covid-19 in SA, according to scientists Live healthier Lifestyle » E-cigarettes: Here are five things to know E-cigarettes have become hugely popular in the past decade, but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the US is feeding caution about a product that's already banned in some places. Allergy » Ditch the itch: Researchers find new drug to fight hives A new drug works by targeting an immune system antibody called immunoglobulin E, which is responsible for the allergic reaction that causes hives.