The first edition of the “Télédon” will be organised in Wallonia and Brussels in March 2017. The purpose of this is to register people for organ and blood donations.
In preparation for this Télédon, an organ and blood donation awareness campaign will be held and people registered between the 1st and 18th of March next year. Two Belgian associations created in 2014, “Sensibilisation au Don d’Organes” (Organ Donation Awareness) and “Alexandre” are the driving forces behind the project. They launched a smaller-scale Télédon in the Wallonie Picarde (Western Hainaut) region in 2015. They registered 1,700 organ donors during the event, i.e. 3.5 more than in an entire year. Almost 225 new blood donors were also registered.
The organisers pointed out that ” of the 1,300 patients requiring an organ transplant each year in Belgium, one-third will die because a suitable organ cannot be found in time”. They added that the organs donated by just one person “can save up to 23 lives”.
As for blood, the associations confirmed that “one in seven people will need blood at some point in their lives but only one in ten people actually donate blood”. Furthermore, almost 250,000 patients need blood products every year in Belgium.
Belgian legislation authorises hospitals to harvest an organ from a deceased person without obtaining that person’s consent before death, unless the person in question was expressly against this practice. This shows why it is important for people to make their wishes known to relatives.