In conjunction with the recent National Organ Donation Awareness Week, the National Kidney Foundation of Malaysia (NKF) organised a Community Organ Donation Drive (CODE): Life Webinar with the theme "Living Kidney Transplant" – adhering to physical distancing and public health guidelines – to raise awareness on the importance of organ transplant and donation.
The webinar featured nephrologists Dr Nor Fadhlina Zakaria from Hospital Serdang and Dr Ruslinda Mustafar from Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz, UKM as the keynote speakers who empowered webinar attendees with practical and relevant medical insights.
Speaking during her session on 'The Painful Reality and Best Options Available', Dr Nor Fadhlina Zakaria mentioned, "The number of kidney failure patients who require dialysis treatment has been increasing rapidly over the years and it does not show any signs of decreasing. Unfortunately, the number of kidney transplants − which is the best treatment option for these patients remains low. Therefore, for those who have relatives or friends with kidney failure, please don't hesitate to come forward and help them. It is a noble gift − giving patients a new and normal life."
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) remains a serious national health problem – primarily caused by either diabetes or high blood pressure. The prevalence of CKD in Malaysia is 15.48% based on a study in 2018, with about 50,000 patients on dialysis nationwide. There are five stages of CKD, ranging from minimal damage in stage 1 to complete kidney failure or end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) in stage 5. Patients with CKD stage 5 or ESKD patients have no choice but to undergo dialysis or wait for a kidney transplant.
In her session, 'Share Your Spare: How to Give the Best Gift of Life', Dr Ruslinda Mustafar said "We want to see an increase in living donor transplantation − not only from blood relatives, but also from those whom the patient has an emotional tie, such as a spouse, friend or co-worker. Compared to receiving kidney transplants from deceased donors, those from living donors offer better outcomes and long-term survival for patients. So, donate your organs to those you love and give them a second chance − pledge to be an organ donor and help transform someone else's life.
Another highlight of this webinar was the heart-warming sharing session by Shah Zahid Razali, a
25-year-old kidney failure patient who was given a second chance at life by his older sister, Wardahanisah Razali − who also shared her experience as a living organ donor. After undergoing surgery recently, both Shah Zahid and Wardahanisah are grateful they got the opportunity for the
life-saving procedure and they encourage others to consider being a living organ donor to help save more lives. This is a bond that will tie these two siblings together forever!
The informative online event was completed with a lively and engaging Q&A session between the speakers and attendees.
A transplant is not a cure for kidney failure, but transplant recipients will have a better quality of life − having a greater sense of well-being and being able to enjoy a lifestyle free of dependence on dialysis treatments. Members of the public who are interested in contributing towards this cause of helping patients with kidney failure can find out more through NKF’s website at http://www.nkf.org.my or call 03-7954 9048.