Health Minister Hasbani with NOD and LOP representatives at the opening. (The Daily Star/Gasia Trtrian)
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For those working to boost Lebanon's stubbornly low level of organ donation, the opening of a new center for the National Organization for Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation (NOD) was cause for celebration.Health Minister Ghassan Hasbani told The Daily Star that the center's opening was a "turning point" toward better organ donation infrastructure, removing a major barrier to increasing the number of successful organ transplants in the country.Because of the low number of donations, Lebanon sees only one to two successful transplants a year.The supply and demand gap for organs – leaving a list of 600 patients awaiting donations – stems largely from a rejection of organ donation on religious grounds.Lebanese law on organ donations also requires the permission of the donor's family before any organs can be procured.Most families who refuse permission do so due to religious belief – despite the positive outlook on organ donation officially espoused by Lebanon's religious authorities.It takes NOD's coordinators four to five hours from being alerted to arrange everything – from allocating the potential organ to a recipient from the list, to revising operation schedules.Having this center makes the operation much more efficient.
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