Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 29th 2016 Contents 6.1000
for 26TH AUGUST, 2016
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Monday, August 29, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Brian MacFarlane, left, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi and Hannah Janoura chat with wheelchairs recipients during yesterday's
distribution ceremony, hosted by Hannah Janoura at her business place on Sackville Street, Port-of-Spain. 100 of the 110
wheelchairs were purchased from proceeds of the Hannah Janoura fund-raiser, which was held in July, while the remainder were
donated by the management of MovieTowne. PHOTO: ANDRE ALEXANDER
If there s a small upside to the
runaway violence in Trinidad and
Tobago in which murders have
topped 300 in only 242 days this
year, (read latest murder/suicide
on page 5) it is that one such fatal
shooting ended up saving two
other lives. A man had been fatally shot once to
the head but there was no damage to his internal
organs. His kidneys were eventually donated to
patients in dire need of the organs.
The dead donor effectively saved two lives and his
family in the midst of their own grief found solace
in the fact that their relative was able to live on in
This was a firsthand example that pathologist Dr
Valery Alexandrov yesterday gave to the T&T Guardian
to bolster his view that there must be "absolutely"
more organ donors in this country.
In response to concerns that people could be tar-
geted for their organs the Ministry of Health s National
Organ Transplant Unit (NOTU) stated it must be
noted that it is illegal to sell organs in this country.
Recipients for kidneys from dead donors are chosen
through a matching system which selects and matches
people based on compatibility criteria.
"This includes blood group, organ size, serology
status, urgency and waiting time," the NOTU stat-
ed.Recognising that it may be possible for rich, or
better connected people, to enjoy greater access to
donated organs than others, NOTU said "a person s
wealth cannot sway or impact the eventual decision."
Guardian Media Ltd on Sunday launched a cam-
paign to promote public awareness of organ donation
and transplant with the aim of encouraging citizens
to augment this country s donor pool.
The NOTU has been in operation since 2006 and
has done 155 kidney transplants in this country.
Twenty-six people have received kidneys from
There are 101 people on the
NOTU S waiting list.
Many others have enquired about
being on the donor waiting logistics
but have not supplied all the nec-
Approximately 500 nationals are
in need of kidney transplants and
that number grows by approximate-
ly 40 every year with a "very large number" of people
dying annually while waiting.
Alexandrov said diabetes is one of the main diseases
affecting this country and kidney problems is one
of the issues that arises out of this.
As a result of this, he said, more donors need to
"It has not been very often I have been involved
in signing the consent forms for donors because for
whatever reason. I believe the moral obstacles of
family members need to be overcome," Alexandrov
"There is the issue of propaganda which may cause
people not to understand what organ donation entails.
But people need to understand exactly how important
it is to become donors," he said.
Religious and burial customs
Religion and burial rites and customs are an often
unseen aspect of organ donation. The NOTU said
one concern that people tend to raise is the question
of whether donation would disfigure their bodies
and prevent an open casket funeral if they decide to
become a donor.
The NOTU stated that organ donation is "similar
"There will be no disfigurement to a donor s body.
Like surgery, all incisions are closed, and you can
have an open casket," the NOTU stated.
Head of the Inter-Religious Organisation of Trinidad
and Tobago Bro Harrypersad Maharaj said he had
"no objection" with individuals donating their organs.
Maharaj said however it must be an individual
"Some people believe that every part of their body
should be used and even when they die I know there
are people who would tell their relations that if people
want my kidney it should be used. It is a personal
decision," Maharaj said.
"We know it is something that is very important.
In Hinduism in particular they believe in karma or
good action and if you could even do a good action
when you die then it would be a very beneficial
thing," he said.
"I have absolutely no objection to organ donation.
If the person is alive it has, of course, to be their
conscious wish. It should not be something that is
forced about a person. And if that person also has
the wish that if they pass on and their organs are
intact and they want to donate it then it should also
be done. I have no problem with that," he said.
Maharaj said a benefit for people considering organ
donation is that it may actually encourage people to
live a healthier lifestyle.
Life changing potential of organ donations
Hindu religious leader on board with initiative
The form that is filled out by local organ donors.
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