Over 1 million people registered as organ donors in 2020: Red Cross Society of China
Published: Feb 06, 2021 11:10 PM

Doctors bow to Sherif ElGazzar from Greece as a tribute before an organ donation surgery in a hospital in Guangzhou, capital of South China’s Guangdong Province, on August 23, 2018. Photo: VCG

 More than 1 million people registered at the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) to donate their organs in 2020, according to an annual report released by the RCSC this week. The record-high number is equal to the total quantity of people who registered in the past eight years, the report said.

The China Organ Donation Administrative Center (CODAC), a public institution under the RCSC that gets a central government subsidy, has had over 1.7 million people nationwide registering to be voluntary donors over the years since it started its organ donation work around 2012, said an official with the center surnamed Chen.

The voluntary donor group in China is expanding fast, Chen said. “This is mainly due to the gradual popularizing of knowledge about organ donation among Chinese people, and the constant improving of donation policies and regulations,” she told the Global Times on Saturday.

The RCSC in January introduced new management measures for donors and their coordinators, further normalizing the organ donation process in China, Chen said.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 2.3 million people globally, also led to the surge in donor numbers in 2020 to some extent, Chen added.

The unexpected spread of the coronavirus has disrupted the daily lives of many people. Some registered future donors said on social media that the pandemic made them reconsider the meaning of life and death, and made them decide to donate their organs after death.

“It will be good to see my life being extended in the bodies of other people,” wrote a Weibo user who said she was a registered donor.

Including those registering at the RCSC, nearly 3 million people in China have registered to be voluntary organ donors through various channels, according to the CODAC website. Another main registration platform is Love & Hope, a platform under China Organ Transplantation Development Foundation, a nongovernmental charitable group.

In total, 96,141 organs had been voluntarily donated as of January 10, the CODAC website showed.