For the world day of organ donation and transplant which is held on October 17, an awareness campaign dedicated to incite and encourage citizens to register on the register of organ donation acceptances with the Court of First Instance of Safi, will be organized at the Cité de l’Océan. The opportunity to highlight this type of still timid operation in Morocco.
Initiated by the Association of Donors for Life, this awareness campaign invites citizens to join this action and mobilize as many people as possible to register in the organ donation registry.
Through this initiative, the organizers intend to encourage organ donation to meet the needs in this area and to make this gesture (organ donation) a normal practice allowing any person, during his life or after his death, to do donation of organs or tissues to save human lives.
While Morocco has made remarkable progress in the field of organ transplants, particularly in the field of legislation, more efforts must be made to promote this type of treatment, which is only available as a last resort for many. incurable diseases.
More than 3,000 renal failure patients are currently on hemodialysis while awaiting a kidney transplant. Poor understanding of the subject, lack of confidence in the system and poor conditions in Moroccan hospitals, and cultural aversion to organ harvesting from a dead body make many reluctant to the idea.
To better understand the subject, MoroccoLatestNews FR called on an expert in the field, Professor Benyouness Remdani, head of the nephrology department at the Ibn Rochd University Hospital in Casablanca.
“We must first differentiate between two types of donation with regard to organs and particularly the kidney. Three types of organs are transplanted in Morocco: The kidney, the liver and the heart. As for the kidney, we have the living donor, that is to say the intra-family and then we have the donor from a person who has died by brain death ”, he explains to us at first.
“As for the liver, organ donation is less and less done in Morocco because there have been complications with the donor. For the heart, there is only the gift from brain death. For the liver and the kidney, these are the two donations ”, he continues, before adding: “The kidney was the first organ transplanted in Morocco through an intrafamily donor. Law 16-98 requires that he have a compulsory family link, that is to say the father, the mother, the ascendant and the descendants and then cousins, cousins, uncles, aunts but also the spouse. they have more than a year of marriage ”.
What does the law say about organ donation?
Law 16-98 relating to the donation, removal and transplantation of human organs and tissues, allows each citizen after his death or following clinical death to donate his organs or tissues for transplantation, for the benefit of patients suffering in particular from renal failure, liver problems, or those who need a cornea.
Likewise, this law proposes to mobilize citizens to register in the organ donation register and to sensitize young and old on all questions concerning the legal and religious guarantees associated with this noble act.
“The law prohibits the anonymous donor who does not appear in the family basket. The donor is protected by the law which stipulates that the latter alone, provided with the requested papers, presents himself to the court in the presence of the president of the court or his representative, the public prosecutor or his representative and two doctors who are appointed by the national order of physicians to see if the donor has been informed of all the consequences, possibilities and above all to try to find out if there is no family pressure on the donor ”, underlines Pr Remdani, who highlights the role of doctors in this operation.
“We, as practitioners, prepare the transplant file, donor-recipient, to ensure that the donation will not cause any complications in the survival of the donor. We must reassure him and explain to him that donating a kidney does not in any way constitute a risk of progressing to dialysis. You can live with a kidney without any problem ”, specifies the practitioner.
Indeed, according to the practitioner, a kidney can function quite normally instead of the second kidney. “What we do after the donation is a medical follow-up of the donor every year with a small assessment to ensure his state of health, both physical and psychological after having made a very noble gesture.”, He says.
A fight and awareness-raising against received ideas about organ donation
The majority of Moroccans have limited knowledge about organ donation. The development of this therapy requires establishing an adequate information and motivation project for the general population. The number of patients waiting for an organ transplant is increasing rapidly around the world. As a result, the gap between the demand for available organs and the supply is widening every year. Improved perception and knowledge will be useful for improving transplantation in Morocco.
“We should present the donation as an advantage and remove from the minds of people that there is a risk of kidney failure since we do everything during our check-up to eliminate any donor with the least risk. This risk must be less than 0.03% ”, explains Professor Benyouness Remdane.
“The population should be sensitized for organ donation especially for the kidney, since 90% of transplants that have been performed in Morocco were made from living donors”, he emphasizes, based on real figures.
“Unfortunately, we only have an acceptance average of 3000 from all of Morocco who have registered. We therefore want to sensitize people around organ donation and encourage them to register in court.”, He continues.
An operation that requires a state project
Asked about raising awareness between patients and doctors, the professor believes that “Organ transplantation must be a state project”. “Everyone must absolutely participate, the media, doctors, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the Ministry of Health. There should absolutely be a state project ”.
Prof. Ramdani reports 33,000 people on dialysis in Morocco and 300 registered for the transplant and regrets a “flagrant” lack of information to explain that the transplant is the best solution for these people who suffer from kidney failure.
“The transplant makes it possible to live better, to live more and ensures a better quality of life, in particular for the women who cannot get pregnant on dialysis but will be able to it if they are transplanted”, explains the expert, who emphasizes that from an economic point of view a transplant costs much less than a treatment under dialysis.
The practitioner therefore calls on everyone to consider organ donation through intra-family discussions and national awareness campaigns. “Raising awareness once a year on the occasion of International Organ Donation Day is not enough”, he concludes.
According to the Ministry of Health, the transplantation of human organs and tissues has undergone remarkable development in Morocco. Indeed, university hospitals, military hospitals and approved hospitals have significant technical resources and qualified human skills.
Since 2005, WHO has promulgated World Organ Donation and Transplant Day. It is held every year on October 17th. The idea of this world day started from an alarmist observation: there would be on average only one organ available for a request three times higher.
Thousands of patients still experience the agony of waiting, when we know that every day spent on the list hoping for a transplant is a waste of luck. Every day, men, women and children die because they could not be transplanted in time, when medicine could have saved them.