MOHAN Foundation in collaboration with Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre (ZTCC), Pune conducted a one-week Transplant Coordinators’ Training Programme from 19th to 23rdAugust 2019 at ISCCM Pune Office, off Karve Road, Pune, Maharashtra. There were 30 participants not only from different places in Maharashtra, but also Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh. This was the 65th training programme conducted by MOHAN Foundation. The training programme was supported by the Tata Trusts.
Dr. Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, Director, ROTTO-SOTTO, Mumbai was the Chief Guest at the inaugural function. Also present were members of the Managing Committee of ZTCC, Pune - Dr. F. F. Wadia, Chairman, Dr. A. G. Huprikar, Vice-Chairman, Dr. Atul Mulay, Secretary and Mrs. Arati Gokhale, Central Coordinator, ZTCC, Pune. Dr. Gajiwala spoke about the exemplary work being done in Maharashtra by all the ZTCCs and encouraged the participants to be committed to the cause, and look upon their work as transplant coordinators not as a career, but a vocation.
MOHAN Foundation was represented at the training by Mrs. Lalitha Raghuram, Country Director, Dr. Sumana Navin, Course Director, Ms. Pallavi Kumar, Executive Director, Delhi-NCR. The MOHAN Foundation team and Mrs. Arati Gokhale anchored the training over the five days. Mrs. Arati Gokhale in her session on ‘ZTCC Pune – role and activities’ highlighted the fact that there were 63 deceased organ donors in 2018 and 46 deceased donors till 23rdAugust 2019 from the Pune region. She also outlined how organs were allocated in her session on ‘Role of Central Coordinator, ZTCC, Pune. ’She said that through the unique mobile app (Grid Sense Health) that had been created for ZTCC, Pune the method of organ allocation had become very efficient. A remarkable 96 ‘green corridors’ had been created from 4th August 2015 till 23rd August 2019.
The MOHAN Foundation team took sessions on various topics ranging from basic concepts of organ donation and transplantation, the legal framework, history of transplantation, grief counselling and approaching a family for organ donation, role and qualities of a transplant coordinator, donor stories, public awareness, setting up a deceased donation programme in a hospital, organisations (state based and NGOs) working in the field of organ donation and transplantation, timeline of successful transplants and status of deceased donation in India, role of media, religion and organ donation, ethics in organ donation and transplantation, and soft skills. The team also kept the participants engaged with group activities, interactive sessions, role play, quiz, and a number of films.
Mrs. Meera Suresh of Snehbandhan Trust, Mumbai made an articulate presentation on skin donation and the urgent need for skin grafts in victims of burns. Dr. Vaishaly Bharambe’s session on whole body donation clearly outlined the process and the importance of getting family consent as required by the law in voluntary body donation. This was followed by a session on corneal donation, eye banking and corneal transplantation including lamellar corneal transplant surgery by Dr. Sangeeta Wagh, Ophthalmologist, Ruby Hall Clinic. One of the participants, Mrs. Manisha Santosh Pandhare, Eye donation counsellor, H. V. Desai Eye Hospital shared her experiences.
Dr. Shehroz Bombaywala from Yashodhara Super-Speciality Hospital, Solapur and Dr. Kiran Deep Sandhu from Wockhardt Hospital, Nashik gave lucid presentations on the diagnosis and certification of brainstem death, and maintenance of a potential deceased organ donor, respectively. Films on the topic were also screened. This was followed by intensive sessions on counselling families including a film in Hindi showing both good and poor approaches (adapted from the film by NHS Blood and Transplant, UK) followed by a role play. Dr. Valentine Lobo, Nephrologist from KEM Hospital made a detailed presentation on chronic kidney disease (CKD) and dialysis. He said that CKD of unknown etiology was an area that needed more exploration. The highlight of Day 2 was an intense experience-sharing session by 21-year-old Shreya Siddanagowder, Asia’s first bilateral above elbow hand transplant recipient. The participants were inspired by Shreya’s grit and determination and were full of admiration for Shreya’s parents. Shreya’s mother Suma was present as well.
Dr. Shailesh Puntambekar from Galaxy Care Multi-Speciality Hospital elaborated on the unique transplant that he and his team performed – the first uterus transplant in India on 18th May 2017. It was successful with the birth of a baby girl, Radha, on 18th May 2018 in Pune. She was the first baby to be born after a uterus transplant in the Asia-Pacific region and the 12thsuch baby to be born in the world. Ms. Rohini Sahasrabudhe, Patient Counselor-Dialysis and Transplant coordinator, Renal Unit, KEM Hospital gave the participants key insights about interacting with patients in her session ‘An Eventful and Ongoing Journey.’ She said that in her career that has spanned four decades she learnt that it was important to be open and ready to change, maintain neutrality, and keep everyone in the loop. She added that a transplant coordinator “needs to be the glue that binds everyone together.” The session on bone donation and bone banking was taken by Dr. Yogesh Panchwagh, Orthopaedic Oncologist, Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital. Mrs. Surekha Joshi, Senior Transplant Coordinator, Ruby Hall Clinic spoke on the procedures to be followed in organ donation in medico legal cases. All the participants received a DVD of ‘Phir Zindagi’ - a film produced by ZTCC, Pune about a young boy whose mother donates his organs after he becomes brain dead following an accident.
Dr. Abhay Sadre, Nephrologist, Ruby Hall Clinic spoke about kidney transplantation and screened a film on how the surgery was performed. Dr. Manoj Durairaj, Programme Director, Heart & Lung Transplant Department, Sahyadri Hospitals took the participants through the causes of heart failure and indications for heart transplantation. The participants also got a ringside view of a donor run and a heart transplantation. Dr. Sheetal Mahajani, Director, Transplant Hepatology, Sahyadri Hospitals covered liver diseases and liver transplantation. She emphasised that Non Alcoholic Stea to Hepatitis (NASH) was on the rise. Col. (Dr) Gopi Renganathan, Plastic surgeon (Hand-Reconstructive Surgery), Command Hospital, Pune spoke about life-modifying hand transplants. The wife of a serving soldier who was waitlisted for a hand transplant after she lost her hands in an electrocution accident was present and her husband shared her heart-wrenching story. Heart valve (homograft) donation and banking was covered lucidly with neat diagrams by Col. G. S. Nagi, Cardiac surgeon, MH-CTC. Mrs. Vrinda Pusalkar, Senior Transplant Coordinator, Jehangir Hospital gave a talk on living related organ transplant with practical tips.
Dr. Avnish Seth, Director, Fortis Organ Retrieval and Transplant (FORT) outlined the role, responsibilities and activities of NOTTO, and also took a session on successful organ donation and transplant programmes in the world. Mrs. Sujata Ashtekar explained the role and activities of ROTTO-SOTTO, Mumbai. The last session was on the NDTV-Fortis ‘More to Give’ campaign by Dr. Seth. He spoke about the various initiatives taken to spread awareness about organ donation using celebrities, short films, and other campaigns. At the valedictory function, Dr. Atul Mulay, Secretary, ZTCC, Pune and Dr. Avnish Seth congratulated the participants and presented the completion certificates to them.