Did you know more than 1,400 people are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, yet only one in three Australians is a donor?
Thanks to the generosity of deceased organ donors and their families, thousands of Australians are given a second chance at life. But with more than 1,500 people currently on the waiting list for a life-saving transplant, many more organ donations are needed.
The problem is that even though the majority of us believe it’s important to register as an organ donor, only one in three of us actually do so. And registration is important, because most families agree to a donation if the deceased was a registered organ donor, while only half agree if the deceased was not registered.
How did DonateLife Week start?
The Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA) works with state governments, medical authorities and the community to improve organ and tissue donation and transplantation outcomes in Australia.
The OTA is an independent statutory agency within the Australian Government Health portfolio and operates under the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority Act 2008 as part of the government's national reform program. DonateLife Week is an initiative of the OTA designed to encourage more Australians to register their organ donation decisions and discuss them with their loved ones.
What is DonateLife Week?
Held in July each year, DonateLife Week is a national awareness week aimed at promoting the importance of organ and tissue donation and encouraging people to register their donation decision.
Each year, a variety of events is held across Australia, each with the express purpose of getting the message out there about organ donation. Promotional materials are also made available on the OTA website for people to download and print out and a range of educational resources is provided for use in schools, churches and Indigenous communities. DonateLife Week in 2017 runs from the 30 July to 6 August.
How can you get involved?
The most important way you can contribute during DonateLife Week is by becoming an organ and tissue donor and registering your decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register. Other ways to participate could include:
- Encouraging others to register as well.
- Using the OTA’s resources to promote organ and tissue donation in your family, workplace, school and community.
- Hosting a “Have the Chat” event to promote the need for donors to discuss their wishes with their families.
- Spreading the donation message on Facebook, Twitter and your other social media channels.
- If you are a teacher, using the OTA’s educational resources to engage your class with the subject of organ and tissue donation.
- Watching and sharing the selection of videos about organ donation on the OTA website.
- If you are a religious leader, using the OTA’s faith-based resources to engage your community with the subject of organ donation.
- To find out more about DonateLife Week or the work of the OTA, visit www.donatelife.gov.au/home.