BBC News – Why is organ donation taboo for many Africans?
“It affected my studies so much. I was about the leading student in class, then I started dropping and dropping until the teachers noticed that it was getting worse,” he tells me from his hospital bed.
“As soon as we get a cornea we use it. Like this cornea I got it last week, I’m using it today. I have a patient waiting list. If I don’t get the corneas here I get them from the US,” says Dr Trivedy.
Ideally, a cornea should be removed from a donor less than six hours after they have died. The procedure takes about 25 minutes and does not require the removal of the whole eye.
And yet Dr Trivedy has not had a single indigenous African cornea donor. She has campaigned through the media and appealed directly to religious leaders, but is failing to break the taboo.
“We’d like them to pledge their corneas but because of their religious beliefs, they say they have to see heaven. Still, we’ve tried to talk to them to donate their corneas so they can help someone see this world.”
Mr Ngure wa Mwachofi, an expert in social behaviour and communication, says religious and cultural beliefs are to blame for the negative attitude towards organ donation.
Curated from BBC News – Why is organ donation taboo for many Africans?