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Organ donation program moves into overdrive

By Yuan Quan and Gao Bei | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-14 08:09

Organ donation program moves into overdrive

Members of the medical staff honor an organ donor in an operating room at the Beijing You'an Hospital. Provided to China Daily

So far, about 10,000 people nationwide have donated 28,000 organs. Last year, 4,080 people donated, while in 2010 the number was only 34. Almost 300,000 people have also expressed a wish to donate.

The growing awareness of the practice has seen the authorities accelerate the training of doctors to overcome a skills shortage.

Liu has seen several cases where members of staff in intensive care units have failed to maintain the organ functions of potential donors, which has led to organ failures and affected the quality of donations. Those failures were the result of a lack of expertise, he said.

In response, this month seven universities will begin offering postgraduate courses in organ donation and transplants, under the KeTLOD project (Knowledge Transfer and Leadership in Organ Donation from Europe to China).

It is expected that 140 postgraduate students will enroll for the project, which was jointly founded by the European Union's Erasmus+ programme and Chinese universities.

Liver transplant specialist Xue Feng will teach the course at Shanghai Jiaotong University, which will fill a gap in China's medical education.

"We have lagged behind Western countries for nearly three decades. We have to work harder," she said.

Online course

In February, Liu and his 21 colleagues joined a special online course, during which they were questioned by organ donation specialists from Spain, Italy and France.

The specialists offered their expertise and experience of clinical approaches, along with organ donation management and dissemination strategies, in accordance with European guidelines.

The three-month online course was conducted through a discussion group on a social networking app that enabled the Chinese doctors to read lecture notes on their smartphones.

Surgical operations were presented via diagrams and videos, while an online tool helped translate the English-language lectures and instructions into Chinese.

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