PHL beats India’s world record for 1-hour single-site registration of most number of organ donors

March 1, 2014 10:12 am 

By Leilani S. Junio

MANILA, Feb. 28 (PNA) — The Philippines broke the Guinness Book of World Records set by India on having the biggest number of organ donation pledges gathered in a single site for just one hour Friday morning.

During the 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. registration that took place at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Track Oval in Santa Mesa, Manila, a total of 3,548 Filipinos signed up as organ donors under the campaign dubbed as "I'm a Lifeline."

India's world record for the same one-hour, single-site registration last year was 2,755 organ donors.

The "Lifeline" campaign was launched by the PUP in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) of Malacanang's Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).

According to Dr. Antonio Paraiso, program manager of the DOH's Philippine Network for Organ Sharing (PhilNOS), the success of the campaign can be attributed to the commitment for a "legacy of love" of students, faculty members, alumni and staff of PUP to their fellow Filipinos needing organ transplantation.

“We are hoping that with this registration, there will come a time in our country that a member of a Filipino family needing donor for organ transplantation will no longer need to ask it from the immediate family as there will be enough donors,” said Dr. Paraiso.

Paraiso said that those who registered as "lifelines" will also help boost the awareness campaign among Filipinos on the importance of pledging to donate their organ in the event that they are declared as brain dead in the hospital.

He said that being a lifeline is like dying with a purpose — to give a continuity of life by giving a life-giving organ of their body to let others live.

He added he believes that the setting of the new one-hour, single-site registration record will be encouraging other sectors to take part in the mission to save lives.

Meanwhile, PCOO Secretary Herminio B. Coloma Jr., in a speech delivered by PIA Deputy Director General Virgilio Galvez, said that being a lifeline is like keeping the spirit of EDSA People Power alive — as it promotes giving of life to fellow Filipinos by pledging to donate organ/s like kidney, heart and cornea to help them survive and continue living.

DOH Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag said that their mission is to remove also the bad presumption of some people regarding the transplantation process because some people speculate that the organs that are being transplanted come from the bodies of kidnapped children which, he said, has no truth.

“We hope that through those individuals that participated as lifeline, the pledging of donating organs will now be perceived also as just like 'blood donation' or ‘dugtong buhay’ (continuity of life),” Dr. Tayag explained.

Tayag also said that in the process of organ donation, there is also a screening process being undertaken to ensure the protection of the recipient of the donated organ.

Friday's "Lifeline" organ donation pledges were also held simultaneously in five other sites in the country — in San Fernando City, La Union; Bicol Medical Center in Naga City, Camarines Sur; Mamba Gymnasium in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan; Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao; and Quezon Memorial Circle in Quzon City.

Aside from beating the one-hour Guinness World Record of 2,755 organ donors set by India in just one site, the PUP-DOH-PIA lifeline campaign also targets to break the record of 10,450 donors, held also by India in the eight-hour single-site registration.

The eight-hour registration period for lifelines in the six sites in the country continues until 5 p.m. Friday. (PNA)

SCS/LSJ

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