MOHAN Foundation’s ‘Transplant Coordinators’ Training Programme’ was in the top three finalists at the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Awards South Asia 2018 in the category of Excellence in Medical Education. A total of 1575 nominations were received from nine countries - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka for 10 award categories in phase I. In phase II, 370 nominations were shortlisted. Each entry was assessed for impact, novelty, regional relevance, patient engagement, and scalability. After a final phase of vetting, 30 finalists were picked to make presentations in front of a jury of clinicians, representatives of patients’ organisations, and members of the editorial team of The BMJ on 1st December 2018 at The Hilton in Chennai.
Dr. Sumana Navin, Course Director, MOHAN Foundation made the presentation on the ‘Transplant Coordinators’ Training Programme’ in front of the jury. She was accompanied by team members Ms. Sujatha Suriyamoorthi and Ms. Ann Alex. MOHAN Foundation initiated a structured ‘Transplant Coordinators Training Programme’ in December 2009. This was the first such training in South Asia and 2060 candidates were trained till November 2018. In a pilot project in the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, Chennai, through the counselling and coordination services of trained transplant coordinators, 66% of families said “yes” to organ donation. A one-year online course (E-learning with one-week contact session) was launched to help working health care professionals expand their knowledge and upgrade their skills in transplant coordination. The core team of the Transplant Coordinators' Training Programme comprises Dr. Sunil Shroff, Managing Trustee, Mrs. Lalitha Raghuram, Country Director, Dr. Sumana Navin, Course Director, Ms. Sujatha Suriyamoorthi, Manager - Information Systems, Ms. Ann Alex, Programme Associate, and Ms. Pallavi Kumar, Executive Director (NCR). The Transplant Coordinators' Training Programme is supported by Tata Trusts, and the E-learning course (Post Graduate Diploma in Transplant Coordination & Grief Counselling) by SBI Foundation, SBI DFHI Limited and Tata Trusts.
The other finalists in the category of Excellence in Medical Education were Dr. Kyaw Myo from University of Medicine, Mandalay, Myanmar and Dr. Pallavi Kawatra from Boehringer Ingelheim India who made presentations on ‘Emergency Paediatric Care Programme in Myanmar’ and ‘Optimising Translational Medicine of SGLT2 inhibitor agents: A clinical guidance tool’ respectively.
The awards were given away at a well-attended ceremony in the evening. Fiona Godlee, The BMJ’s editor in chief, said, “South Asia has many challenges, some unique, some shared. We are deeply impressed by the quality and commitment to your work; each one of you is a winner.” Prashant Jha, The BMJ’s senior editor, South Asia, said that the quality of entries had got better year on year. This was the 5th edition of the awards. He added, “This year, we made the road tougher at the start of the selection process, so we had a significant improvement in the quality of entries from phase 1.” Prashant Mishra, the managing director for BMJ India and South Asia, called the awards the “Oscars of medicine” and congratulated the nominees who had made it to the finals. The guest of honour was Dr. Vinod Paul, Member NITI Aayog, National Institution for Transforming India, Government of India. The winner in the category of Excellence in Medical Education was the project on ‘Emergency Paediatric Care Programme in Myanmar.’
Being a finalist at the BMJ Awards South Asia 2018 was an enriching experience and it was a privilege to be able to learn about the pathbreaking healthcare initiatives in South Asia.