New funds to increase organ donations in Canberra

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IN the follow up to the annual Gift of Life DonateLife Walk around Lake Burley Griffin the ACT government has provided $150,000 to raise awareness of organ and tissue donations in Canberra. 

Past Gift of Life Walk.
Minister for Health Meegan Fitzharris says: “Today the ACT Government has committed $150,000 to Gift of Life to help them continue their work in the community highlighting the importance of being an organ and tissue donor.

“Each year, hundreds of lives in Australia are transformed and saved through the generosity of organ and tissue donors and their families, with just one organ donation having the ability to transform up to ten lives.

Fitzharris says that 88 per cent of families agree to donation when their loved one is a registered donor, compared with just 52 per cent when the potential donor has not registered or discussed their donation wishes.

“That’s why raising awareness of organ and tissue donation, signing up and encouraging people to have the conversation with their loved ones is so important,” she says.

The ACT government will also establish a national garden of appreciation at the Arboretum to remember donors who have died and celebrate new life recipients.

Gift of Life DonateLife Walk, a free community event which start conversations with family and friends about becoming an organ and tissue donor, is currently in its eleventh year.

In 2016 20 ACT organ donors and their families helped 59 people with life saving organ transplants.

“They inspire us all to take the time to register and discuss donation decisions with our loved ones,” Fitzharris says.

“In the latest Organ Donation and Transplantation Outcomes Report 2016, the ACT recorded the highest donation rate per million population of 32.3, a result that was well above the national rate of 20.8.”

Register at Australian Organ Donor Register.

Information at giftoflife.asn.au6174 5625 or donatelife.gov.au.

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