Network and Alliance of Transplant Coordinators (NATCO), in association with MOHAN Foundation, under the aegis of Indian Society of Organ Transplantation (ISOT), held its 14th Annual International Conference virtually on 9th and 10th October 2021. It took place alongside the 31st Annual Conference of the Indian Society of Organ Transplantation, a hybrid conference in Kochi. The event was supported by ZTCC Pune and SBI Foundation.
The theme of the conference was ‘Towards Newer Horizons, and focus areas were organ/tissue donation and transplantation during COVID 19 – domestic and international experiences, transplant pregnancy registry, paediatric donations, directed donations, activities of NGOs in the field and a glimpse into face transplantation.
Around 100 national and international delegates including transplant coordinators, NGO representatives and individuals working towards promoting the cause attended the conference. Speakers, chairpersons and panel members were eminent professionals from the fields of medicine, government departments and academia from all over the world.
The inaugural ceremony on the 8th evening began with an invocation by Mr. Sandeepan Arya of Muskaan. Ms. Arati Gokhale, President of NATCO delivered the welcome address and Ms. Surekha Joshi presented the secretary’s report. Dr. A G Huprikar (Secretary, ZTCC Pune), the Chief Guest for the occasion, appreciated the work of MOHAN Foundation and expressed his gratitude to the transplant coordinators who keep the deceased donation program going. Dr. Vivek Kute (Secretary, ISOT) and Dr. Sunil Shroff (Managing Trustee - MOHAN Foundation) launched the new website of NATCO, congratulated the organisers and wished the conference success. Dr. Vasanthi Ramesh, Director of NOTTO, chaired a session on Day 2 and appreciated the topics chosen for the conference.
Paper presentations by transplant coordinators (international and domestic) kicked off the conference. Mr. Howard Nathan, President & CEO Gift of Life Donor Program, USA, delivered the Swamy Naryan Memorial Oration. Mr. Nathan spoke about his journey in the transplantation field – starting out as a transplant coordinator to heading the nation’s largest organ procurement organisation, and how the programme has evolved in the US.
The following topics were discussed and debated during the conference:
The Valedictory ceremony on the 9th evening began with a prayer rendered by Mrs. Lalitha Raghuram – Country Director of MOHAN Foundation and Former President of NATCO. She welcomed the Chief Guest Ms. Manjula Kalyanasundaram, Managing Director & CEO of SBI Foundation and thanked her for the support. Ms. Kalyanasundaram acknowledged the efforts of the organisers and appreciated the determination and commitment of the transplant coordinators.
Three nominees for the Swamy Narayan Best Transplant Coordinator Award, presented their work from past year and Ms. Prarthana Dwivedi of Indira Gandhi Govt. Medical College Hospital, Nagpur bagged the award. The winners of the free paper presentation were:
Dr. Omid Ghobadi: A successful solution to prevent the decline of the training effect of organ donation teams
Dr. Marzieh Latifi: The effect of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) on grief symptoms of organ donors’ mothers
Ms. Sunayana Singh: Radio – The way Forward for Mass Information Dissemination on Organ Donation
Ms. Kalyanasundaram announced the winners and congratulated them. Vice President of NATCO, Ms. Pallavi Kumar and Ms. Gokhale thanked everyone, requested the audience to use the website and other resources and work to increase the membership of the organisation. Dr. Sanober, a participant from Pakistan mentioned that the conference would really help countries like hers learn many best practices and benefit from the knowledge sharing. Mr. Sandeepan Arya also highlighted the many new learnings in his feedback.
Dr. Hemal Kanvide (NATCO Member, South Zone) delivered the formal vote of thanks with the recital of a Tagore’s poem. The conference came to close with a group picture being clicked and attendees departing with hope of meeting each other soon.