BEIJING, April 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese organ donors have been on the rise since voluntary donation was introduced in the country in 2010.
As of March 20, China has recorded more than 66,000 voluntary organ donors, 6,624 of whom donated their organs, saving about 18,000 lives, People's Daily reported on Friday.
China began a voluntary organ donation trial in 2010 and promoted the practice across the country in 2013. Now, it tops Asia in the number of organ donations per year, said Wang Pei'an, vice minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC).
Statistics from the NHFPC showed that 2,766 volunteers donated organs in 2015, with 7,785 large organs acquired. The number of organ donations exceeded 2013 and 2014 combined.
In 2015, doctors nationwide performed more than 10,000 transplants, with 74 percent of the organs transplanted from volunteers and 26 percent from relatives.
Despite the growing number of organ donors, China still faces a great challenge in promoting organ donation as traditional belief holds that organ removal after death desecrates a corpse.