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More waiting for kidney transplants

A charity has said that the number of people waiting for kidney transplants in Wales has almost doubled over the last six years.

According to the Kidney Wales Foundation, the number has increased by 42% since 2001, which compares to a 36.9% rise across the whole of the UK.

And it added that a lack of available organs meant that only 89 transplants were carried out in 2007.

The foundation’s Allison John said that more people needed to sign up for the organ donor register and that the government must provide more screening of at-risk groups if the numbers are to come down.

She said: “These figures are shocking and reveal the public health threat we are facing in Wales.

“There is a desperate shortage of donors in Wales and sadly, since 2003 more than 100 people have died before getting that second chance a kidney transplant could have given them.”

Roy Thomas, chairman of the Kidney Wales Foundation, urged health minister Edwina Hart to continue to improve the lives of kidney patients and help create a world class renal service in Wales.

Last week, Ms Hart opened a new £4m Kidney Unit at the West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen, which will provide 30 kidney dialysis stations allowing 120 patients to be treated a week.

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Kidney Wales Foundation