MOHAN Foundation was privileged to have Dr. J. Radhakrishnan, IAS, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, along with Dr. Vimal Bhandari, Director, NOTTO (via Skype) and Dr. P. Balaji, Member Secretary, TRANSTAN at the valedictory function of the 8th One Month Transplant Coordinators’ Training Programme in Chennai.
Under the aegis of National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO), Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India, MOHAN Foundation conducted a One Month Transplant Coordinators’ Training Programme from 3rd to 27th May 2017 at MOHAN Foundation, Chennai. A total of 31 candidates from Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu were present. The participants hailed from various professional backgrounds such as Social Workers, Dialysis Technologists/Technicians, Nurses, Hospital Administrators, Doctors, ICU Staff and Transplant Coordinators. They received their certificates with a unique registration number from NOTTO. The training had eminent speakers from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi (via Skype). This was the 8th one month training programme conducted by MOHAN Foundation and the first in partnership with NOTTO. The training was supported by Tata Trusts.
The training began with MOHAN Foundation staff giving introductory sessions - Dr. Sumana Navin, Course Director, started with a session on the Human Body, and then explained in detail the Anatomy & Physiology of Kidney, Pancreas, Liver, Heart and Lung in subsequent sessions. Mrs. Lalitha Raghuram, Country Director, covered the Concepts of Organ Donation with the help of activities. She also taught how a survey should be carried out and handed survey forms on Organ Donation to all the participants to do data collection in their respective localities. The Transplantation of Human Organs Act, Rules, Forms and the Amendments were spelled out by Ms. Sujatha Suriyamoorthi, Manager-Information Systems; she illustrated it through activities which helped participants have the Form numbers and medical terminology on their fingertips. She also gave a detailed description of the Government Orders of Tamil Nadu. Dr. Muneet Sahi, Programme Manager (via Skype) showed various ways through which Public Awareness on Organ Donation could be done and the importance of being creative to reach out to more. An overview of the deceased donation programme in India, state based organisations and NGOs working in the field was given by Ms. Ann Alex, Programme Associate. Dr. Navin Jayakumar, Head, Neuro-Ophthalmology Service, Vasan Eye Care Hospital aptly simplified the Structure and Functions of the Brain. A short film on Brain Stem Death and an E-module film on Corneal Donation (by Dr. Srinivas K. Rao) were screened. The participants were taken on a field visit to Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Bank.
The second week had distinguished Doctors, Senior Transplant Coordinators, Counsellors and Journalists as faculty. The steps to identify and certify Brain Stem Death were covered by Prof. R. Raghavendran, Department of Neurosurgery, Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. For a better understanding of testing for Brain Stem Death, a film was shown. Dr. Navin Jayakumar took the participants on a journey through the history of transplants. He then lucidly taught the basics of Acid-Base Balance in the context of Arterial Blood Gas Analysis for Brain stem death testing. Dr. S. Arulprakash, Consultant - Medical Gastroenterology, SRM Institutes for Medical Science described in detail about Liver Diseases. Dr. M. Edwin Fernando, Prof. & Head of Nephrology, Stanley Medical College, gave an overview of Chronic Kidney Disease followed by Mrs. Rajalakshmi Ravi, Head - Awareness and Prevention, TANKER Foundation who listed out the various methods to prevent Kidney Diseases. A film on Creating Access for dialysis was screened to get a clearer understanding. Ms. Sendhamarai Selvi, Kidney Transplant Coordinator, Madras Medical Mission (MMM) listed out all the documents required for a pre-transplant workup, she also helped the participants understand the entire procedure through case studies. She conducted a Role Play which involved the participants stepping into the shoes of the counsellor and counsellee. Dr. Gomathi Karmegam, Asst. Prof. Anaesthesiology, Kilpauk Medical College stressed the importance and requirements of maintaining a potential brain dead donor. The specific immunologic tests required for a kidney transplant i.e. HLA Typing and Cross Matching were explained by Dr. C.N. Srinivas, Head Transplantation Immunology and Consultant Pathologist, MIOT Hospitals. Dr. Sunil Shroff, Managing Trustee, MOHAN Foundation, introduced the concept of Tissue Banking. Then Dr. Jacob Jamesraj, Senior Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon, MMM in a very interesting session spoke about Homograft (heart valve) Banking – The Principles and Practice and the need for awareness on the topic. Mr. R.K. Radhakrishnan, Associate Editor, Frontline, in an attention-grabbing way spoke about how the media works and how they play a role in disseminating information on organ donation and transplantation. Ms. Pallavi Kumar, Executive Director, MOHAN Foundation, Delhi NCR (via Skype) with the help of Case Studies shared about the Role and Qualities of Transplant Coordinators. Ms. Mareena Thomas, Programme Officer, MOHAN Foundation (via Skype) shared how Social Media is a great platform to spread the message of Organ Donation. Dr. Sumana Navin gave the participants a world view of the countries that have successful deceased organ donation programmes . An e-module film on Hand Transplantation (by Dr. Subramania Iyer) was shown to the participants. The participants were taken on a field visit to TANKER Foundation’s Dialysis Unit and SIMS Hospital Blood Bank. The week ended with intensive sessions by Mr. K. Veerapandian, Assistant Professor, BALM on Counselling, Stages of Counselling, and a counselling session with a participant to understand a real-life counselling scenario. The sessions were an eye-opener for the participants.
The week commenced with interactive and engaging sessions by Ms. Kavitha Thota on Soft Skills and Human Resources-Organisational Behaviour, where the participants easily grasped what was being said. Mr. Sagayam Francis, Executive Officer - Transplantation, MIOT International shared key aspects to be noted when counselling families, he helped participants comprehend better through Role Plays. A Grief Counselling film was shown to visualise how counselling is done with grieving families and a film from NHS Blood and Transplant, UK on Approaching Families - the good approach and poor approach, was also shown. Dr. Sunil Shroff demonstrated how a Kidney is packed for transportation to another hospital followed by Dr. N. Gopalakrishnan, Prof. & Head, Dept. of Nephrology, Madras Medical College taking a brief session on caring for live kidney donors and the follow-up required post transplantation. Dr. Somesh Balakrishnan, Plastic Surgeon, Right Hospitals talked about Skin Donation and skin grafting and emphasised how working together as a team would enhance the programme. Mr. Nethaji, Program Manager, SIMS Hospital listed out the steps involved in Getting License for a Transplant Centre. The various Heart and Lung Diseases leading to heart/lung failure were explained by Dr. Akshay Sharma, Consultant, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Gleneagles Global Hospitals, and with the help of pictures he showed how a Heart and Lung transplantation surgery was done. Dr. J Sreevidya, Senior Asst. Prof., Dept. of Anatomy, Madras Medical College, clarified doubts on Whole Body Donation and its purpose. Dr. Sumana Navin helped participants realise how Bone Donation is done. Dr. Sunil Shroff talked on the Economics of Transplantation followed by Dr. J. Amalorpavanathan, Former Director, Institute of Vascular Surgery, Madras Medical College and Former Member Secretary, TRANSTAN who spoke on the Ethical Issues in Organ donation and transplantation. He posed various ethical questions to the participants and encouraged them to think about it. Participants were given the opportunity to get certified in Basic Life Support by TACT Academy.
International speaker Dr Campbell Fraser, Senior Lecturer, Department of International Business and Asian Studies, Griffith University, Brisbane, shared his main area of interest being international human organ trade and the graveness of the issue. Dr. Vimal Bhandari (via Skype) spoke on the Roles and Responsibilities of NOTTO and said that Transplant Coordinators were Commandos as they played a major role in this field. Dr. Satish Logidasan, Senior Asst. Professor, Anaesthesiology, Govt. Stanley Hospital shared his experience on the Challenges one faces when running a Deceased Donation programme in a Government Hospital and Mrs. Lalitha Raghuram went on to speak about the steps involved in starting such a programme in a hospital. She also spoke on how Religion and Organ Donation go hand in hand. Dr. P. Soundararajan, Prof. and Head of Nephrology, Saveetha University briefed the participants on the various Immunosuppressive drugs required for a transplant recipient and issues related to rejection. Mr. Johnson, Transplant Coordinator, Apollo Hospitals spoke about the importance of Documentation and how to provide Financial assistance in Live Donation &Transplantation. Mr. M. Jeyabal, Transplant Coordinator, SIMS stressed the importance of coordinating with the Police and Forensic Medicine. Dr. Selvakumar explained the protocols in organ donation in medico-legal cases and Post-mortem. Mr. Senthil Kumar, Transplant Coordinator, Government Stanley Hospital explained how to approach families for organ donation as a coordinator. Mr. Shankar Ganesh K, Senior Transplant Coordinator, Gleneagles Global Hospitals gave a step by step description on Recipient Coordination for Heart & Lung and how a Green Corridor works. Mr. Prakash, Transplant Coordinator, JIPMER, Dr. Bhanu Chandra, Operations Manager, Ms. Sujatha Suriyamoorthi and Ms. JayaNalini, Mr. Periyanayagam and Mr. Ragavan, Transplant Coodinators, MOHAN Foundation shared their experiences as Transplant Coordinators in their own unique way which encouraged the participants. The participants visited Government Stanley Hospital’s Skin Bank to get a clearer understanding on how skin was procured and processed. Dr. P. Balaji took the last session of the training by giving in detail the Roles and Responsibilities of TRANSTAN.
At the valedictory function, the participants received their completion certificates from Dr. J. Radhakrishnan, IAS, Principal Secretary, Health & Family Welfare, Government of Tamil Nadu and Dr. P.Balaji, Member Secretary, TRANSTAN. Dr. Radhakrishnan said that transplant coordinators play a significant role in deceased organ donation. Dr. P. Balaji acknowledged the work that was being done by MOHAN Foundation. Dr. Vimal Bhandari was also present via Skype. He congratulated the participants and encouraged them to work towards making the deceased donation programme successful.