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Organ transplants increase after China banned organ harvesting from executed prisoners: ex-deputy health chief

By Yuan Can (People's Daily Online)    16:17, October 23, 2015

Doctors, nurses and stuff members from local red-cross committee stand in silent tribute to Ye Xue who donate his healthy organs, a liver and a pair of kidneys, after death on the morning of Sep.4, 2015. (Photo/Official Weibo account of CNTV)

More than 6,000 organs were donated by over 2,000 donors in the first nine months of 2015, Huang Jiefu, former vice-minister of health and the current head of the National Human Organ Donation and Transplant Committee, told Beijing Youth Daily.

Huang expects there will be more than 2,500 organ donors in China this year and more than 10,000 organ transplant operations. Compared to 8,000 operations in previous years, this year's transplants will be the most.

China, which until January 2015 used the organs of executed prisoners, started a voluntary organ donation trial program in 2010. Prior to that, the country was almost entirely dependent on executed prisoners as a source of transplant organs to save patients with organ failure because China had not worked out a system for voluntary organ donation, according to Huang.

A total of 169 hospitals are qualified to carry out transplants with fewer than 300 doctors who are experienced in such of operations. Huang said that only a few dozen hospitals among the authorized ones are qualified to carry out kidney transplants, and fewer than 20 hospitals are qualified to conduct heart transplants with less than 20 surgeons qualified for this.

In order to promote organ donation, China aims to increase the number of authorized hospitals to over 300 and to train more than 500 doctors.

China banned the use of organs from executed prisoners in January 2015, making voluntary donations the only legitimate source for organ transplants. The move has been welcomed by World Health Organization and global transplanting community.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yuan Can,Bianji)

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