2013 - ISODP 2013 Congress

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Mini-Oral 2 on Increasing Donation

9.2 - "Suffering and urgent needs" - online solicitation of Sri Lankan kidney donors

Presenter: Dominique, Martin, University of Melbourne, Australia
Authors: Dominique Martin, Prabhathi Basnayake, Rebecca Ritte

"Suffering and urgent needs" - online solicitation of Sri Lankan kidney donors

Dominique Martin1, Prabhathi Basnayake1, Rebecca Ritte1,2

1Centre for Health and Society, The University of Melbourne, University of Melbourne, Australia, 2Onemda, VicHealth Koori Health Unit, The University of Melbourne, University of Melbourne, Australia

The rising burden of chronic kidney disease in Sri Lanka has led to increasing demand for transplantation, with needs predominantly met by living donors. In the setting of widespread reports of organ trading and an extraordinary national reputation for altruistic corneal donation, the regular solicitation of unrelated kidney donors in online Sri Lankan newspapers raises intriguing questions and serious concerns. We report the results of a study of kidney donor solicitation advertisements in Sri Lankan newspapers published online in Sinhalese and English. We completed a thematic and content analysis of solicitation advertisements in 3 online newspapers over a six week period (1 May 2013 – 14 June 2013).

The analysis of the 15 posted advertisements revealed themes of social and health status; medical urgency; donor qualities; and healthcare providers. The brief advertisements sought to stimulate interest from prospective donors by painting a picture of need, appealing to virtue and providing contact details for further information. The online advertisements were consistent with findings from international research investigating solicitation of organ donors and donors of other human biological materials in a variety of media.

Reviewed in the context of current donation policy and practice, our results provide some important insights into the challenges and opportunities of organ donor recruitment in Sri Lanka.

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