CITIZENS are being urged to donate organs, especially kidneys, to those in desperate need.
On Wednesday, deputy chairman of the South-West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) Urich Birbal said there was a need for more organs, from both deceased and living donors.
He was speaking during a function at the San Fernando General Hospital to commemorate World Kidney Day.
This year's theme is "Stop Kidney Attack".
Birbal said although a milestone of 100 transplants in seven years had been achieved, it was still not enough.
He said, "In order to do kidney transplantation, we need a steady supply of kidneys. In 2012, three of our own dialysis patients were fortunate enough to receive kidney transplants."
He said, "Currently, we are functioning mostly with living donors, who can only help one person at a time. We also need deceased donors. Every deceased donor can help two persons at once. Giving the gift of life after death is indeed a remarkable act of kindness."
Birbal said according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, more than five per cent of the adult population had some form of kidney damage, and every year, millions died prematurely of cardiovascular diseases linked to chronic kidney diseases (CKD).
Persons were advised to get screened early.
Anil Gosine, SWRHA's chief executive officer, said the SWRHA was committed to assisting patients with kidney diseases and were improving existing services.
He said at the San Fernando General Hospital, the Nephrology Unit catered to all patients affected with kidney diseases and home care was also available to patients.
He said works were in progress to relocate the Nephrology Unit to a more spacious place that would make room for more dialysis machines, which would result in the treatment of more patients on a daily basis. And the Penal Hospital was expected to have 20 additional dialysis chairs soon.
Gosine encouraged persons to live a healthy lifestyle which could reduce the risk of kidney-related disease, such as not smoking and keeping fit.