A one week transplant coordinator's training program was held at the CVT Centre of KEM Hospital, Mumbai, from 18-22 November 2013. It was organised jointly by MOHAN Foundation and Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre(ZTCC), Mumbai.
The inaugural function started with the lighting of the lamp by the dignitaries. The dignitaries who were present were – Dr. Suhasini Nagda, Director ME & MH, Dr. Shubhangi Parkar, Dean KEM Hospital, Dr. S.K. Mathur, Consultant Liver surgeon & Vice-President ZTCC, Dr. Kempi Patil, Asst. Director, Directorate of Health Services (THOA). Dr. Nagda has been promoting deceased donor transplantation actively and has taken an initiative to review the low rate of deceased donations in municipal hospitals. Various committees have been formed in KEM Hospital for identification and declaration of brain death, counseling, retrieval and the same model can be replicated in other municipal and public hospitals. Dr. Shubangi Parkar is a keen supporter of the deceased donor transplantation programme. Dr. S.K. Mathur is a member of MCFOT (Maharashtra Confederation for Organ Transplant). He has been associated with ZTCC since its formation. All the speakers emphasized the fact that team work was extremely essential for deceased organ donation to take place in a hospital and that the transplant coordinators played a key role in this. They expressed their appreciation that ZTCC, Mumbai and MOHAN Foundation were collaborating in conducting this one week transplant coordinators’ training programme. Also present were Dr. Sujata Patwardhan, General Secretary and Mrs. Sujata Ashtekar, Office-in-charge from ZTCC, Mumbai, and Mrs. Lalitha Raghuram, Country Director and Dr. Sumana Navin, Course Director from MOHAN Foundation.
The 63 trainees hailed from different parts of Maharashtra. One trainee came from Vellore, Tamil Nadu. 15 trainees were eye donation counselors posted in district eye and public hospitals. Other participants were from hospitals and were working as medical social workers, volunteers of ZTCC, guest relation officers or transplant coordinators. The faculty were a mix of social workers, senior transplant coordinators, doctors and medical department administrators.
During the training the participants were given an overview of the medical, legal and ethical aspects of organ donation. Special emphasis was laid on brain structure and functions and on brain stem death. Two short films on Organ donation and Religion and Organ Donation was screened. There was a focus on grief counselling and the techniques, with senior transplant coordinators sharing their experiences. Senior doctors spoke about different organ and tissue (kidney, liver, heart, eye, bone, skin) donation. There were two interactive sessions – How to start a deceased donor program in your hospital and Public education on organ donation. A quiz was taken by the participants.
The Transplantation of Human Organs Act, Maharashtra Government Regulations and working of the Appropriate authority and Authorization committee were explained to the trainees. The roles and duties of a transplant coordinator for recipient and donor were explained to the participants and this was followed by a role play done by the participants. Senior transplant coordinators explained the difficult cases and what they learnt during coordination of MLCs. At the end of the training the trainees were given a short test.
Dr. V. N. Acharya, a legendary nephrologist, honored the training program by being the chief guest for the valedictory function and giving the participants their certificates. She spoke of her struggle during the early 1980s to initiate a transplant program and how she was delighted to see the growth of this field of medicine and the roomful of participants wanting to become transplant coordinators.