Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced this weekend that the country’s COVID-19 app, MySejahtera, will soon be able to directly facilitate the registration of organ donor pledges. The initiative, set to appear on the app on 6 September, is to simplify the process of signing up, as well as raising awareness for the act of organ donation.
According to Khairy, pledges made through the app will be electronically stored in the Health Ministry’s system, which will be used as proof to show the next-of-kin that the person had indeed intended to donate their life-saving parts after their departure. To date, there are 10,442 people in the country waiting for an organ donation.
The minister added that data by the Global Observatory On Donation and Transplantation ranked Malaysia as among the 10 countries with the lowest transplant rate in the world. Last year, the country only had 2.84 organ transplants per one million population, which is almost half the rate of 5.64 in 2020.
From 1997 up to July of this year, the National Transplant Resource Centre statistics showed that there have been a total of 779 organ donations after death. Within that same time-frame, there have been 517,758 organ donor pledges. Because the rate of organ donation is so low, Khairy said the government has had to spend a lot of money on haemodialysis for end-stage kidney failure patients.
Incorporating organ donor registration on MySejahtera has been in the works since March, while the app initially just promoted a link to the Derma Organ website. It seems to be just one part of the Health Ministry’s overarching goal to transition the pandemic app into a general national health app, with blood donation records also coming in the next update.
If you’re interested in pledging, you can visit Derma Organ to find out more information. Anyone can register as long as they are over 18 and receive a physical donor card, which you should carry at all times. It’s important to note that in the event of your demise, the authorities will still get consent from your next-of-kin before proceeding.