REGALO urges Filipinos to help save lives, become organ donors

GMA NEWS | Mei Takumi
Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial &officials from NKTI, MCTJ, KFP, KITAP are present for REGALO launch in recognition of National Kidney Month.
A coalition of healthcare providers launched the Renal Gift Allowing Life for Others (REGALO) Organ Donation Advocacy campaign on Thursday to dispel the stigma surrounding organ donation and kidney transplants.

Inaugurated at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), the campaign aims to increase awareness on organ donation, encourage Filipinos to voluntarily sign up for organ donor cards, and increase the number of organ transplantation performed in the country.

Kidney transplant least expensive, most effective

One of the factors that led to REGALO's formation is the low number of living and deceased organ donors in the country, compared to the increase in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

ESRD is a disease mostly caused by hypertension and diabetes that necessitates hemodialysis (HD) or peritoneal dialysis (PD) to maintain the life of a patient or kidney transplant to treat.

According to the Philippine Renal Disease Registry, 18,603 new patients started dialysis in the beginning of 2015 and increased to 32,077 by December of the same year.

By contrast, only 475 Filipino patients or 3.4% received a kidney transplant in 2015.

Dr. Romina Danguilan, REGALO Organizing Committee Lead, said the NKTI alone receives 100 new patients on dialysis every month while "one Filipino dies from kidney failure every hour." Continue reading

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