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Airline to fly organs for free
Latest Updated by 2007-01-17 16:52:19

Shenzhen Airlines, China's largest private carrier, signed an agreement yesterday to transport donated corneas and other human organs free of charge for three medical organizations.

The move marks the first time that an airline company has signed such an agreement in this country.

"Shenzhen Airlines' commitment to providing fast, expedited aviation services will ensure that the donated organs get to where they need to go. It will benefit recipients and help promote organ donations around the nation," said Chen Zhonghua, deputy director of the Chinese Medical Association's organ transplantation sub-committee, at the signing ceremony.

The two other medical organizations covered by the deal are the Shenzhen Red Cross Society and Shenzhen Eye Hospital.

According to the agreement, Shenzhen Airlines will provide space on its flights and dedicate manpower to transport donated corneas and organs that have been approved by the Chinese Medical Association to designated destinations free of charge.

About 4 million patients suffer from cornea illnesses, while some 1 million people are struggling with various types of end-stage organ failure in China. However, only 5,000 cornea transplants and 8,000 organ transplants take place each year, said Zhao Lizhen, secretary-general of the Shenzhen Red Cross Society.

And some of transplants fail because of the delays in delivering the donated organs, she said. Most organs should be transplanted within six hours after being removed.

Chen said he hoped more airline companies, especially China's three biggest carriers, would follow Shenzhen Airlines' example. "A far-reaching, speedy and convenient aviation transportation network would allow donors to accomplish the goals laid out in their wills and allow patients to regain their eyesight or continue their lives," Chen told China Daily.

Editor: Donald

By: Chen HongSource:China Daily Website
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