Macedonia Meeting Highlights
Participants of the collaborative meeting in Skopje, Macedonia in June 2011
The Transplantation Society (TTS) is collaborating with The European Society of Transplantation (ESOT), the International Society of Organ Donation and Procurement (ISODP) and the European Transplant Coordinators Organization (ETCO) to assist The Regional Health Development Center (RHDC) of Croatia in the development of deceased donation and ethically proper live donation throughout Southeastern Europe.
The countries participating in this project include: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Serbia, Slovenia, and Romania. The objective has been to develop an action plan for each country that establishes a competent authority to oversee the practice of organ donation and transplantation in that country.
The initial meeting was held in Zagreb, Croatia in February 2011, but a subsequent conference was held in Skopje, Macedonia in June. Dr. Henrik Ekberg, TTS Director of Medical Affairs and Dr. Francis Delmonico, TTS President-Elect, have been working diligently with Rutger Ploeg of ESOT, Günter Kirste of ISODP and Rui Maio of ETCO to support Dr. Mirela Busic of Croatia in leading this effort.
Dr. Ekberg created a booklet of the action plans derived from each of the countries that will be submitted to the Ministry of Health of each participating country. That action plan calls for a competent authority to utilize the critical pathway of deceased organ donation developed by the World Health Organization in identifying and referring potential organ donors. It calls upon the competent authority to conduct death audits to assure the appropriate referral of potential organ donors and to manage those donors medically prior to organ recovery. Each country should provide resources for professional training and education of physicians and transplant coordinators within intensive care units and donor hospitals. Each country should also develop a central registry, which provides for an annual report of deceased organ donation detailing the distribution of organs to a waitlist of patients authorized by the competent authority. Finally, public education is needed to engage society in the support of deceased organ donation.
These efforts have been done in the background of the Declaration of Istanbul and the Resolution of the World Health Assembly of 2010 endorsing the guiding principles of the World Health Organization. Representatives from TTS plan to visit each of the Balkan countries over the course of the next 3 years to work with the national focal point person participating in this RHDC program in securing the attention and support of the countries’ Ministries of Health. The next meeting is planned for Ljubljana, Slovenia in March 2012.