A midterm meeting of Indian Society for Organ Transplantation (ISOT) was held in Chennai from 16-18 March 2017. The theme of the meeting was Asian perspectives on organ donation & transplantation. The best of Asian perspectives from leading countries in this field with participation of senior doctors from various countries that include- China, Iran, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and Australia. The scientific program was developed under the leadership of Dr Georgi Abraham and Dr Sunil Shroff, with inputs from the ISOT council members. It was accredited with 30 points of category I by TN Dr. MGR Medical University. More than 200 doctors and transplant coordinators attended the meeting.
Day 1 had topics related to transplant coordination – body donations – socio cultural perspectives from different countries; the science of counseling; role of social media; workshop of scientific writing; difficult donation case studies; transplant tourism; implementation of the new rules in India and the feasibility of an Asian Forum on Organ Donation. Specially invited senior transplant coordinators attended these sessions. A total of 80 senior transplant coordinators registered for the meeting.
Day 2 was devoted to topics from different Asian Countries and their experiences with organ donation. Models to promote organ donation from Iran, China, Nepal, India and Bangladesh were discussed. Use of Art to speak about organ donation; Ethical issues with directed donations; religious issues with deceased donations; capacity building of surgeons and coordinators in India, China and Iran; the latest developments in transplants such as robotic surgeries and Donation after Cardiac Death were also discussed.
In the evening there was a formal Inauguration with the theme ‘The Year that Was’. Various stakeholders spoke of their activities to promote organ donation. FORT Director Dr. Avnish Seth spoke of their Campaign with NDTV and Mr Badal Rag spoke of the Times of India Campaign, Mrs Lalitha Raghuram elaborated on the efforts of MOHAN Foundation and Prof. Dr. Vimal Bhandari spoke on the plans of the national agency NOTTO. At the end Transplant Coordinators of MOHAN Foundation, Chennai displayed their dancing skills showcasing the folk dances of Tamil Nadu.
Day 3 began with roundtable discussions on some key medical and ethical concerns in transplants. There were six groups for doctors and two groups for transplant coordinators. Each group had a lead, who had discussed the topic with his members and the round table was to finalise recommendations/guidelines.
Just before the start of the discussion, Tamil Nadu Government Principal Secretary, Dr. J. Radhakrishnan, Department of Health and Family Welfare attended the meeting and urged all stakeholders to work together to help organ failure patients. He said that the support of government is critical to the success of the program.
After 1 hour of roundtable discussions, the lead speakers gave their recommendations. This was followed by a lunch symposium on De Novo use of OD Tacrolimus – Bangalore Experience. Uniform declaration of death and end of life care legislations and ethical dilemmas with case studies were discussed. The last session of the meeting was about living donations and how to protect the donors and detect discrepancies in the applications.
The 10 international faculty from Iran, China, Nepal, Bangladesh, Srilanka and Australia attended this meeting. In addition about 50 Indian doctors presented their findings and discussed the topics. Senior transplant coordinators were also faculty. The 49th issue of the Indian Transplant Newsletter was released during the meeting and the NAFAS Art festival of Iran was also inaugurated during the meeting.