The National Transplant Center (Cenatra) says 21,414 people in Mexico are on a waiting list for an organ transplant.
Almost two-thirds of those, a total of 13,254, are waiting for a kidney.
The demand for transplants, in decreasing order, includes cornea, liver, heart, pancreas, kidney-pancreas, kidney-liver, lung and heart-lung.
Most kidney transplants are a result of chronic kidney disease, a longstanding disease of the kidneys leading to renal failure caused by diabetes complications. Other causes are high blood pressure, polycystic kidney disease — an inherited disorder in which clusters of cysts develop in the kidneys — and lupus nephritis, an autoimmune disease.
Even though a post-mortem organ donation from a single patient can often save several lives it is still not widely practiced in Mexico, mostly for religious reasons.
The Mexican General Health Act establishes that living or deceased donors must give their tacit or manifest consent before their body or organs are made available for transplants.
Tacit donors are those that do not explicitly state they refuse to donate their organs after their death, while manifest donors are those that leave written or verbal notice of their willingness to donate their organs after death.
The Carlos Slim Foundation reported earlier this year that 75% of kidney transplants came from living donors, a situation that health institutions would like to see change. A spokesman at the National Transplant Center said the goal was to reverse the percentage.
In the United States, where about 97,000 people are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant, donations from living donors were 32% of the total between 2012 and 2016.
The organ donation rate in Mexico three years ago was 3.2 per million people. Now it is closer to 4.03 per million.