By IPP Kelvin Ho

I would like to dedicate this writing to the late PP John Lee who was a chartered member of Rotary Club of Hong Kong Northwest.

Thanks to the late Big Brother John, the nickname we used to call John Lee, who introduced me to become a Rotarian of Hong Kong Northwest in year 2005. In my time as an ordinary Rotarian member in the Club, I was deeply touched and impressed by the community projects initiated by the past presidents, which helped young children with cleft lips, and people with mental and physical disabilities. It made me realised how Rotarians can make change to lives. 

I am a doctor working in the field of kidney diseases. The most serious complication of kidney diseases is kidney failure which is not uncommon in Hong Kong. It is a debilitating medical condition to patients and can be destructive to their families. The same applies to patients with other organ failure such as liver and heart. These are all life-threatening medical conditions. Organ transplantation is not only a better treatment for these patients but also a better solution to their families. However, the organ donation rate in Hong Kong ranks one of the lowest in the world. It is due to the lack of recognition and promotion of the importance of voluntary organ donation, and also to the traditional Chinese belief. There has not been much improvement since I returned to work in Hong Kong in 1994. I believe it is the time to foster more supports to help the unfortunate patients and their families in the society.

I would like to give my wholehearted thank to my Club and Area 5. With their full support, the community project “Save Your Kidney Save Your Family” was launched to help the unfortunate patients. The project includes public education to arouse the importance of early prevention of organ failure, life-saving equipment donations to relief the immediate needs of the patients, an organ donation promotion campaign to arouse public awareness of the importance of organ donation which includes launching the Rotary-Octopus Organ Donation Promotion Card and a series of publicities in the media. My gratitude also goes to the District 3450 and every Rotarians of the District for their support to make the launching ceremony of the Rotary-Octopus Organ Donation Promotion Card on 1st June 2013 a great success. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the officiating guests for their support to the event including Dr Ko Wing Man, Dr Leong Che Hung, Professor Joseph Sung, Dr Leung Ka Lau, Dr Leung Pak Ying, Dr Chan Un Chan Ina, Mr Tien Puk Sun Michael, Dr Ho Chung Tai and Mr Sunny Cheung. I also thank all the supporting organisations especially the Department of Health which grants us the use of the symbol signifying organ donation – The Gift of Life.

There were nearly nine hundred new registrations to voluntary organ donation in the first two days since the launching ceremony on 1st June. We receive lots of positive and encouraging responses to the campaign from the public, media and institutes in Hong Kong. An unofficial observation has also showed an increased number of organ donation and organ transplantations done in the public hospitals. The increase in public awareness and participation in voluntary organ donation in Hong Kong has given me the greatest reward and encouragement and I am dedicated to continue with the work.

Lastly, I can see that all the presidencies have done an excellent job and there are many meaningful projects in the Rotary year 2012-2013. I was only lucky enough to earn the great honour of being the President of the Year of District 3450. It is a very fruitful year to me and my Club but the honour should go to all the supporters of my Club and every Rotarians of the District. I strongly believe that with the support from each of you, my dream to make voluntary organ donation a culture in Hong Kong will come true one day. This is going to be a big challenge to me, just like the cycling trip “The Alpine Challenge” I am going to take in September this year!

Health Talk by IPP Dr. Kelvin Ho :