Organ donations
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HKDSE - Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education

New teaching materials seek to boost Hong Kong’s poor organ donation rate

At least 70 schools have agreed to instruct their primary school pupils to boost their knowledge of subject

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 September, 2016, 4:52pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 September, 2016, 11:00pm

Dozens of local secondary schools have committed to using Hong Kong’s first organ donation teaching materials, including input from the city’s six major religions, to boost donations.

The materials, which educators have praised, were developed by the Hong Kong Organ Transplant Foundation over a two-year period and are to be used this term in liberal studies lessons from Form Four to Form Six.

Dr Kelvin Ho Kai-leung, the foundation’s founding president, said many Hongkongers only had “superficial knowledge of organ donation”.

The city’s organ donation rate has ranked among the lowest in the world, with just 5.8 donors for every one million residents, according to a Legislative Council study released in July.

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“If we want to change, education at a young age is important,” Ho said.

The course materials comprise three modules and introduce students to the latest data on the subject. They also contain case studies of transplant recipients and donors.

If we want to change, education at a young age is important
Dr Kevlin Ho Kai-leung, Hong Kong Organ Transplant Foundation

Perspectives from the city’s six major religions – Protestantism, Catholicism, Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism and Islam – were included in the materials, with religious leaders taking a favourable view towards organ donation.

The materials also spelled out transplant procedures and the eligibility criteria for specific organs.

Teachers said they found the materials useful in helping to prepare lessons on the subject.

Li Kwan-foon, a liberal studies subject coordinator with the Hong Kong Taoist Association The Yuen Yuen Institute No 3 Secondary School, said many schools had already been introducing the concept of organ donation. “But information such as views on the subject and how organs are handled during the process had been hard to find,” she said.

At least 70 out of some 400 invited secondary schools have committed this term to introducing the teaching materials, which are now only available in Chinese.

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Ho said English translation of the materials was underway. He hoped another 100 local schools and international schools could have them by March next year.

Some 40 liberal studies teachers were expected to attend a workshop by the Education Bureau on October 5 during which they would receive instructions on how to use the materials. The subject may be linked to liberal studies modules such as Public Health, Personal Development and Interpersonal Relationships, and Hong Kong Today.