Many countries around the world can't meet the demand for donor organs. At any given time, there are around 4300 people waiting for organ donations in South Africa. These patients usually need new livers, kidneys, lungs or hearts. But organ donors are in very short supply.
This isn’t unique to South Africa. Many countries around the world are unable to meet the demand for donor organs. There are a few exceptions, though. One example is Norway, where a surplus of deceased donor livers has been reported.
So what explains South Africa’s organ donor shortage?
If the family doesn't agree, the surgery won't go ahead. Organ transplantation relies on the generosity of a person to volunteer their organs for donation after death, or the generosity of the family to gift or donate the organs of their deceased relative.
But last year, the organs of just 510 deceased donors were transplanted into Australian recipients. This amounts to 20.7 donations per million people and puts Australia down to 17th place for international deceased organ donation.
Last week, a parliamentary committee report on organ donation and ...