Why visit this Blog?

Conveying useful healthcare system information, including for organ donation and transplantation, as well as a social media emphasis.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Organ Donation: Three essential 'A's.

You may notice that the postings on to this site mainly provide information on 3 topics - organ donation, organ transplantation and use of social media. So what would you say it you were told that there are important common messages contained within these topics? What does this represent? Well it comes down to three important words all beginning with ‘A’.

A is for Awareness, a term used frequently over the last 10-20 years for various campaigns promoting organ donation around the world. So do you think that having lots of ‘Awareness’ leads to higher organ donor rates? What would you say if you were told that the country with the highest organ donor rate in the world-Spain- does not run ‘awareness’ campaigns? Can you say that you or your family are truly aware of the importance of organ donation or what is involved? How about your friends or work colleagues? What steps have you taken to find out more about organ donation even though you may be ‘aware’ of its importance? This is where one other word beginning with ‘A’ becomes important.

A is for Action, a term used when individuals or organisations take steps to convert their ‘Awareness’ of a problem or issue into steps that lead to real change and hence results. Without taking action ‘Awareness’ on its own will not achieve any lasting impact. Probably the greatest example of awareness not leading to appropriate action for health is the world-wide obesity epidemic. Despite clear documentation of an increasing problem for e.g. CDC statistics, numerous campaigns via both media and professional organisations including, reports from the Institute of Medicine, the problem continues. You can view an Obesity info graphic from the Australian Science Media Centre which outlines the projected rates of obesity in that country if action is or is not taken.

So what do you need to do to take action on organ donation? Well first you need to find out the facts and there are a number of good web sites which include Organdonor.gov, United Kingdom NHS Then you need to talk to your family. You can also note your decision via your Facebook timeline if you wish. If you belong to an organisation with an interest in organ donation, then you will be combining Awareness with Action which are two essential components as depicted in order to help form a platform for leading and driving change

A is for Advocacy, a term used to signal the action being taken by individuals, groups or organisations who want change [or reform] to occur, including within the health care system and at policy level, for the barriers to organ donation to be overcome.

Three essential A's required for change

So there you have it, the 3 A’s as they relate to organ donation as depicted above, which is of enormous importance for organ transplantation. You cannot have one without the other two. As for social media, well this is now a conduit via which relevant information [for both Awareness and Action] is being relayed both by individuals and organisations with an Advocacy role. This is in order to facilitate the changes that are required in many countries to ensure that the maximum benefits of organ donation are realised.