The 1st Regional Meeting of The Transplantation Society (TTS) was held on 28th and 29th March 2019 in Istanbul, Turkey. The theme of the meeting was “Deceased Donation: Expanding the Donor Pool.” Dr. Mehmet Haberal, President, The Transplantation Society said that the meeting aimed at providing insights into the medical, legislative, ethical, cultural, and social hurdles that needed to be overcome to increase deceased donation rates in the Middle East, Africa, and Mid Asia as well as the world.Dr. Sunil Shroff, Managing Trustee and Dr. Sumana Navin, Course Director, MOHAN Foundation were invited to attend the meeting by Dr.Riadh Fadhil on behalf of The Doha International Academy of Organ Donation – Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar.
The plenary sessions and parallel sessions covered a gamut of topics. Nancy Ascher (USA), Immediate Past President, TTS in her session on Burden of Disease and Development of Self- Sufficiency said that a nation must assess the country’s burden of disease (in terms of life lost and the impact of chronic organ failure) and gather robust data. This is required to develop public-health policies and personnel to treat these individuals, and also develop organ procurement and transplant policies and personnel involved in transplantation as a definitive treatment for organ failure and insufficiency.Mr. Howard Nathan, President and CEO, Gift of Life Donor Program, Philadelphia, USA shared that for the 11th consecutive year, Gift of Life Donor Program was USA’s leading organ procurement organisation (OPO), coordinating the most life-saving organs for transplant among 58 U.S. OPOs.Gift of Life broke two national records in 2018, representing the highest totals ever recorded for organ donors and transplants for a U.S.-based OPO in a single year.
Gift of Life’s annual donation rate, 55 organ donors-per-million-population, and annual transplant rate, 149 transplants-per-million population, both rank among the highest in the world (www.donors1.org).
Dr. Mustafa Al-Mousawi, Kuwait spoke about the Experience of Gulf Countries in Reaching Self-sufficiency in Organ Procurement. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, constituting the Gulf Corporation Council not only have a common language, religion, and culture, but also a large expatriate community. Most deceased donors in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are expats and in Qatar all deceased donations are from expats.Dr Mousawi concluded by saying that religious leaders are mostly not supportive of deceased donation. He added that Islam allows a good act to be rewarded with a reciprocal act and some sort of support (educational grants, health insurance, interest free loans) for donor families may help the programme.
The Doha International Academy of Organ Donation sponsored a symposium entitled “Regional Legal, Ethical, and Religious Challenges of Deceased Organ Donation Programme.” Dr.Riadh Fadhil said that the symposium was the first activity of the Reach Out for Organ Transplantation Self-sufficiency (ROOTS) programme – a new Qatari collaborative initiative to develop or improve organ donation programmes in the developing countries and Qatar. Eminent faculty addressed key issues at the symposium – Ethical Considerations for Deceased Organ Donation by Dr. Dominique Martin, Australia, Legislating an Ethical and Sustainable System for Deceased Organ Donation by Prof. Alexander Capron, USA, and Organ Donation: Islamic Ethical Perspectives by Prof. Mohammed Ghaly, Qatar.