Rome (People’s Daily) -- China on Wednesday proposed the World Health Organization (WHO) establish a task force on organ donation and transplantation, its delegation said in a news briefing at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS).
Chinese scholars introduced the “China model” on organ donation, transplantation and anti-organ trafficking.
They had called on all parties earlier to work together in a conference held at the Vatican on March 12 and 13, as this marks the second year in a row China has been invited by the PAS.
Participants acknowledged China has made significant progress in reforming its organ donation and transplantation processes during the last decade.
The new “China model” of organ transplantation and anti-organ trafficking has been recognized internationally by professional societies and institutions.
China has stringent law enforcement regulations against organ trafficking. Since 2015, China has stopped the transplantation of organs from condemned prisoners.
“The organ donation and transplantation system under the new ‘China model’ is very impressive,” said José R. Núñez, advisor on the subject to the WHO. “China has made significant achievements in the past three years, and its protocols have become a model for other countries to follow,” Núñez added.
“5,146 Chinese citizens voluntarily donated their organs after death, along with 2,322 blood related living organ donors, more than 16,000 people have received transplant in 2017, and China is now second place in the world in term of number of deceased organ donors,” said Wang Haibo, head of China's official organ distribution system, China Organ Transplant Response System (COTRS).
Wang emphasized strong government support and involvement is a most crucial component.
“China also expects to share its experience in promoting ethical and sustainable organ donation and transplants in countries along the Belt and Road initiative, which could be coordinated by a WHO-led global task force,” Wang said.
“According to WHO, more than 40 countries expressed their support for establishing the WHO task force, which was first proposed by China at the Vatican meeting last year,” he added.
Huang Jiefu, former Chinese vice-minister of health and current head of the National Human Organ Donation and Transplant Committee, dismissed the erroneous reports that claim some Taiwanese visit Chinese mainland with the aim of obtaining transplants using organs from executed prisoners.
“These are complete rumors and lies based on fabrications fueled by ulterior and political motives,” said Huang.
China’s Ministry of Health prohibited “transplant tourism” in 2007. Only Chinese citizens, including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan residents, can legally receive deceased donor organs for transplant. The fact is, hundreds of patients’ lives from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan were saved by the voluntary organ contributions of mainland Chinese donors.
“A total of 322 Taiwan residents received transplants in Chinese mainland, and 175 Taiwan patients are on the national waiting list there,” Huang concluded.