A publicity campaign has launched highlighting that organ donation can save lives, and bring new hope to as many as 2,000 patients awaiting transplants. The Light Up Lives, Support Organ Donation campaign encourages people to sign-up for donating organs after death and secures family support to make informed decisions for such a worthy cause. The cadaveric donation rate in Hong Kong was 4.2 per million population last year. The corresponding figures were 10.7 in the UK, 21.4 in the US and 35.1 in Spain. The hospital Authority recorded only 362 organ or tissue donations in Hong Kong last year while 296 were reported up to September this year. The figures fell short of demand. There are 2,000 patients on the waiting list for organ transplants. Of them, 1,400 need kidney transplants, 400 await corneas and 150 need liver donations.
Posters promoting organ donation will be displayed in MTR and KCR stations this month and in January, and roving exhibitions will be staged next year. Car windscreen stickers carrying the message will be distributed to drivers during off-peak hours at all tunnel toll booths today and tomorrow. Entertainer Miriam Yeung has been appointed an Organ Donation Ambassador while Government departments, non-government organisations and private companies have been invited to support the campaign. There have been 31 supporting organisations so far. As a token of gratitude, the names of the supporting organisations will be listed on a dedicated website. To enhance youth awareness, the Department of Health will co-ordinate "train-the-trainer" sessions next year for secondary school students.