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Pledged organ donors exceeded 170,000 last month

Posted May. 23, 2022 08:00,   

Updated May. 23, 2022 08:00


The number of Koreans who pledged to donate organs and bodily tissues after death exceeded 170,000 last year alone.

According to the Health and Welfare Ministry on Sunday, the number of people who signed up to donate their organs and bodily tissues last year amounted to 175,864. The number represents up 46,000 from 129,644 in 2020. Specifically, those who pledged reached organ donation reached 88,865, those who signed up for bodily tissue donation 70,068 and those who signed up for hematopoietic stem cell donation 16,931, respectively.

While a growing number of people are pledging to donate, the actual number of donations is smaller than other major countries. The number of organ donations by brain-dead people was 442 last year, slightly down from 478 in 2020. The ratio of organ donations by brain-dead people per 1 million people was 9.22 in Korea, while the ratio is 38.03 in the U.S., 37.40 in Spain, 18.68 in the U.K., and 11.00 in Germany.

The number of people on the waiting list for organ transplantation in Korea was 45,830 n 2021, up from 43,182 in 2020. “Changes in people’s perception towards organization donation has not led to an actual increase in organ donations yet,” a health and welfare ministry official said.

Meanwhile, the Health and Welfare Ministry has decided to join forces with the Korea Organ Donation Agency and the Korea Professional Football Association to stage a ‘Organ donation campaign with the K-League. “With the advent of the World Cup year in 2022, we hope that the public’s interest in soccer will lead to sharing of life,” said Jeong Young-gi, head of the National Institute of Organ, Tissue and Blood Management.

Keun-Hyung Yoo noel@donga.com