The reluctance of most Bulgarians to become organ donors is impeding the transplant procedures. File Photo
Bulgaria’s Executive Transplant Agency is beginning a nationwide organ donor encouragement campaign.
The information was reported Saturday by the Agency’s Director, Dr. Teodora Dzhaleva, who along with the Health Ministry’s consultant for Transplants – Vilyian Platikanov, attended the first working meeting for donor encouragement. The meeting was held in the St. Georgi hospital in Bulgaria’s second largest city of Plovdiv. The hospital is considered one of main transplant centers in the country.
Dzhaleva pointed out that not the lack of funds, but rather the reluctance of Bulgarians to become organ donors is impeding the transplant procedures, citing as example the fact that 80% of relatives of individuals with brain death refuse to donate their organs, and adding there is a strong need to convince people in the humanity of the act of organ donation.
On his part, Platikanov explained that the most frequent reasons for refusal to donate organs are religion, lack of information and lack of trust in the doctors. The donor refusal rate is 60% to 70% in Bulgaria, compared to 10% in Spain, he said.
The internet site with information about organ donations, listed coma patients, and current transplant needs will be launched next week. The campaign would further lead to the establishment of 10 specialized donor centers in the country.
It was also announced at the meeting that the transplant subsidies are slated to go up – from BNG 40 000 to 80 000 for heart transplants, BGN 50 000 to 70 000 for liver and BGN 15 000 to 30 000 for kidney ones.
142 kidney, 43 liver and 13 heart transplants have been done in Bulgaria in the last five years. The number of those waiting for organ donations in the country is currently 1 000 people.