Monday, February 25, 2013

Vietnam - Hanoi to implement organ transplant project

The Hanoitimes - Hanoi will spend 34.1 billion VND (US$1.6 million) o­n new technology to carry out organ transplants.

Before 2015, the city aims to start conducting kidney transplants, while that for heart and marrow will likely begin in the following years. An organ bank will also be set up after 2015.

Funds for the project come from the municipal budget as well as other sources, including international co-operative projects and enterprises. The amount of over VND34 billion is part of a plan approved by the municipal People's Committee.

The city will use the existing facilities at Saint Paul Hospital to carry out kidney transplants.

The city's health sector will also improve its ability to procure organs from brain-dead individuals and preserve them for future use in transplanting surgeries, as well as enhancing people's awareness about the benefits of organ donation.

Director of the municipal Health Department Nguyen Khac Hien said that the biggest obstacle when implementing the project was the shortage of organs.

In the past 20 years, he said, about 8,000 Vietnamese people required kidney transplants, but o­nly 700 were able to undergo the operation.

"Increasing awareness about donating organs is an urgent task that needs co-operation from every agency at every level," he said.

For example, the State should implement policies to encourage organ donation and set up an organ management system, said Hien.

Meanwhile, head of Saint Paul Hospital's Planning and General Division Pham Manh Than expressed confidence in the project. For more than a year, he said, the hospital had been sending doctors to other hospitals to experience organ transplants and improve their skills.

The doctors learnt a lot from Military Hospital 103, which has more than 20 years of experience conducting organ transplants, as well as the Viet Nam-Germany Hospital, with five years of experience.

"We are completely confident in our doctors' ability to carry out transplant surgeries," said Than.

He added that the hospital would use the allotted funds to upgrade infrastructure and buy new equipment.

"If the project is successful, it will be a good foundation for us to expand the technology to other provinces and cities," he said.

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