Professor Everard Barton, Chairman of the Caribbean Institute of Nephrology
Professor Everard Barton, Chairman of the Caribbean Institute of Nephrology, has said the Ministry of Health has been slow in implementing a transplant programme amid concerns that Jamaica is facing a shortage of kidney donors.
In addition, Professor Barton said a storage facility for kidneys and amendments to the Human Tissue Act are needed for an effective transplant programme.
He said in the interim, the Health Ministry needs to ramp up its public education programme to get more Jamaicans to become donors as thousands of persons are on dialysis.
Jamaica is heavily dependent on live donors, but with small a number of persons voluntarily donating their kidneys, Professor Barton wants more deceased donor transplants.
Still, he pointed out that said some Jamaicans are not willing to donate the organs of their dead relatives despite them giving consent before their death.
He suggested the problem can be solved if persons are properly educated and if the legislative changes are made to prevent a donor's relative from overriding his or her decision.
He was speaking Tuesday on the Morning Agenda on Power 106.