The 'Dawca.pl – be an informed organ donor’ campaign promotes informed donation of organs, bone marrow and blood. Raising the level of Polish society’s knowledge on the procedures of tissue, cell and organ transplants and, as a result, an increase in social acceptance of these procedures constitutes its main objective. The formation and development of a volunteer movement for organ transplantation aimed at educating society and overcoming its fear of medical procedures by dispelling doubts is also a significant component of the campaign. Overcoming the organ transplantation taboo is a complex process and we hope that this campaign contributes to a change in society’s mentality.
The idea of the Dawca.pl campaign was born in 2002. Dr. Maciej Śmietański from the Department and Clinic of General and Transplant Surgery at the Medical University of Gdańsk was the “father” of the project and the founder of the “Be An Informed Organ Donor” foundation. In 2007 the Polish Society for Health Programmes became the publisher of the “Be An Informed Organ Donor” campaign. A group of medicine and public health students from the Medical University of Gdańsk and law students from the University of Gdańsk coordinate all of the campaign’s activities.
Over 5000 people belong to the “Dawca.pl” club and their number is still growing. Widespread promotional activities are also taking place at the Facebook community portal where we have over 5200 fans. The campaign is primarily directed at young people but there are no age limitations – we are glad to see that these actions are supported also by middle-aged and elderly people.
Our current activities focus on the promotion of the idea of the donation of organs, blood and bone marrow and we use various tools to achieve this goal. At present we are working on the first online training session concerning organ transplantation, which will be primarily targeted at all upper-secondary school students in Poland and to university students, but all people interested in organ transplantation are welcome to use it. The online training session “Be An Informed Organ Donor” is co-financed by the Ministry of Health and we are planning on launching it at the beginning of September.