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Community acceptance of body issue and organ donation, especially cornea donation

Community acceptance of body tissue and organ donation, especially cornea donation

Human body tissue and organ transplantation is considered as o­ne of the ten most important scientific discoveries to change human life in the XX century. Millions of people's lives are saved by this technique every year. Lacking sources of body tissues and organs for transplantation is the biggest obstacle for every country when developing this technique.

Donation of body tissues, organs and cornea is not a purely medical act, but also a social issue influenced by many factors such as spiritual, cultural, moral, legal and psychological... Therefore, this act until now is still unpopular and is accepted by very few people. The study of "Community awareness, attitude and acceptance of body tissue and organ, especially cornea donation" managed by Health strategy and policy institute (Ministry of Health) together with Institute of Sociology and Psychology and conducted by Ho Chi Minh National political academy under the sponsorship of ORBIS international Vietnam with the aim of providing scientific and practical evidence for the development of communication strategy to mobilize the society to support donation of body tissues, organs and cornea.

The study was conducted in three big cities with diverse typical cultural, religious, customs features of three main regions, which are also the places where organ transplantation can be realised: Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh city.

The methods used in the study include: documents analysis, 62 in-depth interviews with the staff of some agencies of the Party, National Assembly, Government, Ministries, organisations at the central level and city level, representatives of inhabitant groups; 27 group discussions with inhabitant groups in each reseached locality; survey 1800 households in the three cities.

Main findings:

  • Most of the inhabitants are aware of body tissues, organs and cornea transplantation (70,8% and 60,9%) and have a fairly adequate understanding of the human body tissues and organs that can be transplanted and the sources of body tissues and organs.
  • The proportion of people being aware of the registration to donate body tissues and organs and the registration procedures is very low.
  • The main channels providing information about body tissues, organs and cornea transplantation are television, radio, books and newspapers as well as health workers.
  • Compared to the inhabitant group of the community, the leaders' group showed no difference in the level of awareness.
  • Most of the interviewees acknowledge the great importance of body tissues, organs and cornea transplantation, as well as appreciate the meaning of this act and support the policy to mobilize the society in body tissues, organs and cornea donation.
  • The proportion of people agreeing to make donation themselves or let their relatives donate body tissues, organs and cornea when alive is very low: 15,7% and 9,8%.
  • The proportion of people agreeing to donate body tissues, organs and cornea after death is not high: over 53%.
  • The proportion of people agreeing to donate body tissues, organs and cornea for their relatives is 29% and 27,2%, for other people: o­nly more than 15%.
  • Concerning the registration to donate body tissues, organs and cornea: according to the opinion of the majority, the registration should be done by individuals and the government keeps those registrations.
  • Concerning the supporting policy for donors: the majority agrees that it should be spiritual o­nly and not material in order to avoid commercialization.
  • According to the opinion of the majority of inhabitants, it is necessary to issue Laws of organ donation and transplantation, thus creating a legal lobby for the development of this technique in our country.
  • Attitude towards and acceptance of body tissues, organs and cornea donation of the authority and social organisations leaders is similar to that of other inhabitant groups.
  • Most people realise the role of communication and intersector participation in the social mobilization for body tissues, organs and cornea donation.
  • People expect communication channels to provide more specific detailed information about the achievements in organ transplantation, mechanism and methods to realise this technique and procedures involved.
  • The most preferred channels of mass media are television (VTV1, VTV3,...), books, newspapers and magazines of central agencies, Voice of Vietnam.
  • The most preferred broadcasting time is between 19 and 22 o'clock.

Recommendation:

  • Issuing and improving law o­n body tissue, organs donation and transplantation with adequate regulations concerning the sources of supply, procedures and assisting conditions, rights and responsibilities of the parties involved.
  • Developing and carrying out plans of propaganda about the law o­n body tissue, organs donation and transplantation after the law have been issued.
  • Reinforcing information transmission through communication channels in order to provide people with full understanding of organ transplantation technique and the procedures of organ donation.
  • Renovating communication activities to mobilize the society to support body tissue, organs donation o­n the following aspects: mobilizing a wide range of social forces to participate, especially those people who have donated or received organs; selecting people's favourite mass media channels and broadcasting time, integrating both direct and indirect communication.
  • Investing in the establishment of regional specialized centres with the priority of cornea banks; joining the regional and international transplantation network.
  • In the forthcoming period focusing the propaganda o­n encouragement of cornea donation because it is more easily accepted by people and the procedures are simpler.

01/08/2006
 
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