INAUGURATION OF MOHAN FOUNDATION’S NEW OFFICE & CONVOCATION OF THE 1ST BATCH OF TRANSPLANT COORDINATORS – 11TH APRIL 2010 World Health Day, which was celebrated on 7th April 2010, had as its theme “1000 cities – 1000 lives.” As part of this campaign, public spaces in cities across the world will be used to promote health activities and stories of 1000 urban health champions will be collected.
The theme has a direct bearing on the work that MOHAN (Multi Organ Harvesting Aid Network) has been doing since 1997 with the Deceased Organ Donation Programme. We work in cities like Chennai, Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam, but we have also been on the road talking about organ donation to people in various towns in Tamil Nadu. This year, we are taking the campaign to New Delhi and Coimbatore. And our champions are all the deceased organ donors and their families.
As part of our efforts, we have also crossed a major milestone in December 2009 with the country’s first one-month Transplant Coordinators Training Programme. This is a big step in making a difference to the deceased organ donation and transplantation scenario. So far, there has been no structured training available for transplant coordinators in the country. The Govt of India in its recent gazette has made transplant coordinator nomination mandatory for a hospital to be registered as a transplant centre. This would mean that any one of the 300 to 350 hospitals applying for renewal of its license would need a trained transplant coordinator. In 2008, the Government of Tamil Nadu issued an order to 54 transplant centres in Tamil Nadu making this post compulsory.
We recently signed an MOU with the Dean, MMC/Government General Hospital, and one of our Transplant Coordinators has been placed there since February 2010. In this period she has had almost 90% success when she has made a request for organ donation to families of brain dead people.
The convocation of the first batch of Transplant Coordinators was held on Sunday, 11th April 2010, at MOHAN Foundation’s new office in Toshniwal Building, 267 Kilpauk Garden Road, Chennai - 600010
The function started off with a prayer to Lord Ganesha by Ms Gayatri Srinivasan, MIS Manager.
Then the “Kuthuvilakku” was lit by the Chief Guest , Lt. Gen. (Dr ) V.J. Sundaram, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd), Advisor (Micro and Nano Systems), National Design & Research Forum, Bangalore.
Dr. Sunil Shroff delivered the welcome address. He extended a warm welcome to all the distinguished guests, Transplant coordinators and MOHAN Foundation employees who were all very happy to attend the much awaited Inauguration and Convocation function.
After that, Transplant Coordinators, Ms Veena and Ms Niveditha Shankaran were invited to share their experiences with the audience. They talked about their experiences in counseling families and how helpful the training programme had been for them. It was very interesting to note how coordinators from a non-medical background coped with all the medical aspects of organ donation and transplantation. The satisfaction that the Transplant Coordinators got from their job, of saving lives by facilitating organ donation, was the main thing that Ms Veena of MOHAN Foundation spoke about.
Then Dr Sumana Navin presented the projects done by the Transplant Coordinators, each one addressing a different aspect of Transplant Coordination – awareness surveys on organ donation and brain death, posters and presentations on organ donation, FAQs on liver transplant, kidney transplant forms, recipient care, FAQs(in Kannada) , and deceased donor case studies.
A very enthusiastic Chief Guest, Lt. Gen. (Dr) V.J Sundaram, then took the floor, capturing everyone’s heart by spontaneously wearing a T-shirt on Organ donation on the dais before he gave away the certificates to the Transplant coordinators! Certificates of appreciation were also given to the faculty of the Training programme. The talk by the Chief Guest was very inspiring. He shared his thoughts on organ donation and also made a presentation on nanotechnology, creating an interface between Biology and engineering and research on artificial organs.
In the midst of it all, we had the Chief Guest cut the ribbon to enter the new office of MOHAN Foundation. A proud moment for all of us at MOHAN Foundation! Everybody was impressed by the new office with its new air-conditioned knowledge center that could seat 35 people for training. Dr Sunil Shroff thanked Mr Om Toshniwal for generously donating the office space for us. At the end Ms Chandni Srinivasan gave the vote of thanks.
The transplant coordinators then cut a big cake on the occasion of their convocation and everybody had a go at the delicious cake J. Three cheers for our very special first batch – V.Narendra Babu, Niveditha Shankaran, Shilpa L., D.Keranal, Velanganni Sutha, Veena, U.Uthayapriya, K.Suvitha, M. Subha, K.P.Arjun, Anjali Rawat and Mr. Krishnan.
All in all, a great experience for all of us, celebrating the completion of the Transplant Coordinators’ Training programme and the Inauguration of our new office.