AWARENESS. Dr. Ma. Theresa Bad-ang, a nephrologist and head of the Southern Philippines Medical Center – Human Advocate and Retrieval Effort, underscores Monday (April 24, 2023) the need to raise public awareness on organ donation. During a press briefing in Davao City, the physician emphasizes the need for medical practitioners to be knowledgeable first on the procedures for organ donation procedures. (PNA photo by Robinson Niñal Jr.)

DAVAO CITY – More should be done to create public awareness on organ donation and help patients extend their lives, a government physician here said Monday.

Dr. Ma. Theresa Bad-ang, nephrologist and head of the Southern Philippines Medical Center-Human Advocate and Retrieval Effort, however, said that “people inside the hospital” should be the first to know everything about organ donation.

“Organ donation should be known first thoroughly by doctors and nurses in the hospital before the public so that it will succeed,” Bad-ang said, adding organ donation should only be done following the consent of a family member of a “brain-dead” patient.

“We cannot do organ donation if the patient is not dead. The public should know that when you are brain-dead, you are legally dead, and you can donate your organs as long as your family will agree to it,” she said.

Bad-ang underscored the role of the media to boost organ donation, describing the press as "a powerful tool" for people to support the campaign.

“We want to educate them because they are our partners. Without them, people will have a difficult time understanding the benefits of organ donation,” she said.

She assured donors that their bodies will not be "desecrated or mutilated" and instead be treated with "utmost care."

She also urged the people who have signed up for organ donation to inform their families, especially those who are driver’s license holders, that they are donors.

Bad-ang said that on average, they are able to identify at least 30 donors every month.

The primary challenge, however, is getting the families to give consent. (PNA)