New Organ Donation and Transplant Project

DG Kenneth Wong

It is my pleasure to inform you that the Chinese Ministry of Health (MoH) has invited Rotary Clubs in Hong Kong and Macau in our District (D 3450) to cooperate in a humanitarian project through which we will assist in promoting the new organ donation and transplant system in the Mainland.

While we have been in contact with the MoH, this new development only came up in the past two weeks and became a a firm request when PDG Peter Wan and I met Dr. Wang Haibo, Director of the Research Centre on Organ Donation and Allocation of China at the University of Hong Kong. Our District is approached by MoH mainly because of the credential of Rotary and the fact that Rotarians have social status and a wide spectrum of professional and business background.Our participation may help inspire public confidence in this new initiative undertaken by MoH. The success of our District’s Hepatitis B project in the Mainland has also probably engendered confidence and trust of the MoH in the professionalism, passion and determination of Rotary Clubs in Hong Kong and Macau in helping to strengthen the medical and health system in China.

More specifically, we are invited to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which states that we will be mainly involved in the following areas of work in the proposed project on the promotion of organ donation and transplant in China:
 (i) to support the construction and enhancement of the management system on Organ Donation and Allocation in the Mainland;

 (ii) to promote organ donation through publicity and advocacy programs in the Mainland; and

 (iii) to promote international cooperation and exchange in organ donation between China and members of the World Health Organization (WHO). Signing of MOU

While Rotary Clubs in Hong Kong and Macau will participate in the above work on a voluntary basis and provide suitable professional input/advice where appropriate, the MoH will oversee the implementation of the new organ donation and transplant system by the Zhongshan University, the University of Hong Kong and the various hospitals in the Mainland, provide the necessary financing and support to the parties concerned and give due attention and response to the views, assessment and suggestions provided by the Rotary team appointed by the Governor of D3450. There is thus basically no financial commitment for our District and we are to contribute mainly our professional manpower in various ways. For expenses which may be incurred by ourselves in delivering our services, they will be borne by ourselves. We would assist in raising fund for the project as and when needed. Information relating to the donation and allocation of organs are to be kept confidential and could not be divulged without the consent of parties concerned.

A signing ceremony has tentatively been scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. of 26 December 2012 (a Wednesday). The venue is the International Conference Centre in the Guangdong Hotel, 309 Dongfengzhong Road, Guangzhou. [广东大厦国际会议中心(广州市东风中路309号)]. In the presence of the Deputy Minister of Health of China and representatives of the Research Centre of Organ Donation and Transplant of China at the University of Hong Kong, representative of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office and I representing the Rotary Clubs in Hong Kong and Macao as the District Governor of District 3450, will sign the MoU at the signing ceremony on 26 Dec. Dr. CH Leong, Chairman of the Council of the University of Hong Kong, will also attend the ceremony.

Attached for your perusal are:

(a) a brief note summarizing the background and latest development of organ donation and transplant in the Mainland;

(b) the draft MoU which is to be signed on 26 Dec 2012 (this is in Chinese only but the gist of the content has been summarized above); and

(c) a tentative program of the signing ceremony on 26 December (this is also in Chinese only but the key information has been summarized in the above paragraph).

The proposal was discussed at the JPM last night (13 Dec). The majority of Presidents present considered that this was a highly worthwhile project and gave their strong support. It is expected to bring significant benefits to people in China which is the country ranked second in the number of organ transplant but with a significant shortfall in organs donated vis-a-vis organs needed for transplant. Successful promotion of knowledge in and advocacy for organ donation in the Mainland will likely lead to significant increase in the number of organ donors and hence the number of organ recipients (the beneficiaries).

There will be a lot of work ahead, but all worthy of our time and effort. If you have any views or advice, please feel free to let me know. I am also seeking advice on the latest version of the MoU from legal experts among Rotarians to ensure that there will not be any adverse implications in the MoU of which we are not aware. Those of you who wish to participate in and contribute your expertise, manpower and time to the project, please let me or PDG Peter Wan have your names.

You are most welcome to join the signing ceremony on 26 December. For those of you who wish to attend the event, please advise if you would like to join the District’s Delegation departing for Guangzhou in the morning of 26 Dec, or would like to arrive at Guangzhou a day earlier (i.e. 25 Dec), and make sure that you provide the information by replying to this email no later than 17 Dec. Please excuse me for the rush. We have to provide the name list of participants to MoH well in advance for better seating and other logistics arrangement.

I welcome your views and look forward to your favourable support. Please copy your reply to RIC.

With best regards

Kenneth Wong

District Governor 2012-13

D 3450
Hong Kong, Macao & Mongolia

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