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Experts discuss organ transplant demand | Updated: 2013-06-09 20:49

CHANGSHA - Chinese scholars have called for a number of ways, including legislation and heterotransplant, to meet the growing demand of organ transplants in the country.

The widening gap between the growing number of recipients and the number of donors has hindered the development of the organ transplant sector, Zheng Shusen, China's leading organ transplant expert and academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering told a forum held here Saturday.

Government statistics show about 1.5 million Chinese people need transplants but only around 10,000 operations are performed annually due to a lack of donors. Organ transplants began in China in the 1960s.

Experts attending the "Young Scholars' Forum on China's Organ Transplants," called for establishing a human organ donation system, national or regional networks for donors and recipients, and formulating the law on brain deaths.

Exploring heterotransplantation is also one way of alleviating the strained organ supply pressure, according to Ye Qifa, a professor with the Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province.

Heterotransplantation is where tissue is taken from one species and transplanted to another.

On Thursday, a cornea donation center was jointly set up by the Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center of Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangdong Province and the Guangdong Provincial Red Cross Society. The agency aims to encourage more citizens to volunteer to donate their corneas after their death.

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