It’s well known that there’s a worldwide shortage of organ donors. More than 100,000 organ transplants have taken place around the world every year since 2008 unfortunately this falls under the number of organs needed.
Recent studies in the UK have shown that just in March of this year, 6,077 people were on the waiting list for an organ transplant. And that 408 people died in the previous 12 months while waiting for a donor.
The number of people signing up to be an organ donor in the UK has gone up for nine years in a row – reaching 25.3m. But this is still below rates in other countries.
Spain is exemplary in this field. It has the highest organ donation rate of any country in the world, operates an opt-out system which means that a far greater percentage of its population are eligible to donate their organs.
A standard way of measuring the rate of donation in a country is per million people. Spain has a population of 46.72 million and figures published for 2017 reveal that 2,183 people in Spain became organ donors last year after they died.
That’s 46.9 donors for every million people living in Spain (almost double to the UK). Remarkable figures that more countries need to strive for.