RIO DE JANEIRO, March 9 (Xinhua) -- The number of effective organ donors in Brazil rose to record-high 2,983 in 2016, the country's Health Ministry said on Thursday.
According to the ministry, the figure represents a 5-percent increase compared to 2015. As one person can donate several organs, the actual number of transplants in Brazil is much higher.
The number of heart transplants made in 2016 rose 13 percent and reached record-high 357. Other transplants also registered a rise: kidney transplants rose by 18 percent, liver transplants were up 34 percent, bone marrow transplants were up 39 percent and lung transplants were up 53 percent.
The government attributed the rise in the number of transplants, especially heart transplants, to a decree signed in June 2016, which established the use of at least one Air Force plane exclusively to transport organs for donation.
Brazil has the largest public transplant system in the world. Almost all organ transplants are made in public hospitals.
Health Minister Ricardo Barros celebrated this achievement, calling for more efforts to boost organ donations.
According to the minister, 95 percent of transplants in Brazil are paid by the federal government.