Chinadaily / Huang Jiefu, chairman of the China National Organ Donation and Transplantation Committee, talks with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO in Geneva on Thursday. [Photo by Liu Jia/China Daily] Experts have refuted longstanding rumors about China’s organ donation and transplantation practices by sharing clear and transparent information in Geneva.
Huang Jiefu, head of the China National Organ Donation and Transplantation Committee, said 17,085 Chinese had voluntarily donated organs after death, and over 48,000 organs had been transplanted in China from January 2010 to April 2018.
The release refuted media reports that “China has a yearly organ transplantation volume of as much as 60,000 to 100,000” and of “organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners”.
Organ trafficking and human trafficking for the purpose of organ removal are condemned by the World Health Organization and the United Nations.
“These figures strongly rebut these groundless rumors,” Huang said on Thursday during a news conference in Geneva.
Huang attended the “Toward Universal Access to Solid Organ Transplantation” event on the sidelines of the World Health Organization’s World Health Assembly.
The 71st World Health Assembly ended on Saturday.
International experts concluded that China had accomplished a broad range of reforms, including prohibiting the use of organs from executed prisoners and transplant tourism, and establishing a national allocation system.
Wang Haibo, director of the China Organ Transplant Response System Research Center, explained China’s strict measures against organ trafficking.
A national organ donation and transplantation monitor system has been set up that uses big data to ensure traceability and fairness of organ distribution and aids law enforcement against organ trafficking, he said.
National surveillance against organ trafficking is conducted through the joint efforts of legal and health authorities.
Huang, the former vice-minister of health, confirmed that the information and data collected by Chinese authorities would be shared with the WHO and its member states.
Philip O’Connell, director of the Centre for Transplant and Renal Research at the Westmead Institute for Medial Research in Australia, said “One reason why some people believed them (rumors) in the first place was because of the lack of knowledge”.
Francis Delmonico, another leading expert who attended the news conference, said he agreed with O’Connell that the rumors have been effectively countered by the transparent and complete data Chinese authorities provided.
Jose Ramon Nunez, an adviser at the WHO, said “We have this (figure)?135, 000 organ transplantations performed every year in the world?which is only 10 percent of the real needs”.
China’s expertise, especially China’s experience in successfully carrying out national reforms, is very needed worldwide, he said.
Liu Jia contributed to this story.