Health sector makes stride in organ transplants

The health sector has made great strides in the performance of organ transplants.

Surgeons perform an organ transplant

If more than 30 years ago, organ transplantation was still a dream for patients with organ failure and Vietnam’s medical community, Vietnamese surgeons can now catch up with their peers in the world. Even the sector has had achievements in organ transplant even though it started nearly half a century later in many countries in the world.

Ms. Le Thi Nhan, a young sister of brain-dead donor Le Van Hung who donated organs to save people with organ failure and blindness in early August 2023, remembers that she encouraged her family, especially her parents, to donate tissues and organs of the brother to save the lives of many others. Luckily, Ms. Nhan's family relatives, especially Mr. Hung's father, supported this humanitarian deed.

After receiving the support of the family, she contacted the National Organ Transplant Coordination Center to express her desire to donate her brother's tissues and organs. Surgeons performed organ transplants to save five patients with organ failures in Hanoi and Thua Thien-Hue.

Currently, the patients who received part of Mr. Hung's body are all living healthily. Ms. Le Thi Nhan shared that her family just hoped that the people who received her brother’s organs would always be healthy.

On August 19, 2022, Cho Ray Hospital received information about voluntary organ donation from a brain dead donor. The donor is a 25 year old girl upon her mother’s consent. In the young girl's personal belongings is an organ donation registration card issued by the National Organ Transplant Coordination Center in July 2020 with card number VN0002386. Suppressing the pain of losing her child, her mother was determined to help her child fulfill her will. According to her wishes, Ms. Chau wants to be able to share as much of her body parts as possible with many sick people.

In October 2022, a 38 year old man in Nha Be outlying district had a stroke and was treated at Ho Chi Minh City-based People's Hospital 115. His mother Ho Thi Ngot recalled that doctors said that the man was diagnosed with a very serious cerebral vascular rupture, with no chance of saving his life. His mother and wife agreed to donate his organs. Thanks to his donation of tissues and organs, six lives were saved.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, in the past 30 years, Vietnam has performed more than 8,000 organ transplants; in other words, more than 8,000 lives have been saved, and many people have had healthy lives.


Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan said that the rate of organ transplants from brain-dead donors is still very low. After more than 16 years of implementing the Law on Donation, removal and transplantation of human tissue and organs, the number of people registering to donate human tissues and organs after death or brain death has increased many times. By the end of 2023, more than 73,210 people have registered to donate tissue and organ after death or brain death.

However, the rate of organ transplants from brain dead donors is still very low, accounting for less than 5 percent of the total number of transplants.

The main transplant cases are still from living donors with more than 95 percent, leading to significant risks to the health of living donors in particular and organ trafficking in general.

Therefore, to increase the source of tissues and organs donated from brain dead sources to save the lives of many patients with tissue and organ failure and contribute to solving the risk of tissue and organ trafficking, the Ministry of Health is developing a draft directive on increasing the implementation of the law on donation, removal and transplantation of human tissues and organs and donation and recovery of cadavers which will be soon issued in the near future.

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