The Society of Organ Transplantation (SOT), Bangladesh invited Dr. Sunil Shroff, Managing Trustee, Mrs. Lalitha Raghuram, Country Director, and Dr. Sumana Navin, Course Director, MOHAN Foundation as faculty for the 4th National Convention & Scientific Seminar on Organ Transplantation from 16th to 18th September 2018 at Dhaka. The invitation came from Dr. Harun Ur Rashid, President, SOT. The meeting was organised in collaboration with the Asian Society of Transplantation and MOHAN Foundation at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dhaka Medical College and Kidney Foundation, Dhaka.
The main plenary sessions included sessions on ABO Incompatible kidney transplants, swap transplants, prevention and management of infections in solid organ transplantation, and rejection. There were also sessions on donation after brain death and circulatory death, and changes in the law in Bangladesh governing organ transplantation. Bangladesh passed the Transplantation of Human Organ act in 1999, which was amended in 2018. Some of the salient points are –
1. Definition of ‘close relative’ expanded to include grandparents, grandchildren and first cousins as potential living donors.
2. Allows transplant of other organs besides kidneys such as heart, lungs, intestines, liver, pancreas, and tissues.
3. Declaration of brain death - Committee of at least three specialist professors or associate professors of medicine or critical care medicine, neurology, and anaesthesiology.
4. No organ other than eyes and bone marrow can be taken from any brain-dead person if they are aged below 2 years or above 65 years.
5. Punishment (fines) enhanced up to Bangladeshi Taka one million.
In the plenary sessions, Dr. Sunil Shroff spoke on capacity building and takeaways from the legal framework in India. Dr. Sumana Navin spoke on the role of ICU professionals and transplant coordinators in the deceased donor transplant programme. The international faculty also included Dr. Jae Myeong Lee from South Korea, Dr. Kapil Zirpe, Dr. Subhal Dixit and Dr. Vivek Kute from India. There were panel discussions on giving impetus to the deceased donation programme in Bangladesh. Dr. Lee said that a team from South Korea comprising Dr. Cheol Woong Jung, a donor coordinator and herself could visit Dhaka for a week in February 2019 and go to different hospitals to demonstrate the various interventions required for deceased donation. Dr. Shroff suggested starting the deceased donation programme in the army hospital first, involving eye donation societies, empowering ICU professionals, and starting an organ sharing network in Bangladesh.
A workshop – ‘Update on Transplant coordination’ was held at Kidney Foundation. There were 68 participants for this – ICU doctors and nurses, staff from nephrology & dialysis units. Mrs. Lalitha Raghuram, Dr. Sumana Navin and Dr. Sunil Shroff conducted the interactive workshop through films, group activities, case studies, and role plays.