Washington DC, January 21, 2021 (PAHO) - The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) participated in the XX Meeting of the Ibero-American Network-Council of Donation and Transplantation (known in Spanish as RCIDT), together with representatives of donor and transplant organizations from 17 Latin American countries, and experts from international scientific societies for transplantation. The main theme of the meeting was the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on donation and transplantation systems. The event was coordinated by the National Transplantation Organization of Spain (known in Spanish as ONT), and took place virtually from 17-19 November 2020.
PAHO, together with the Instituto Nacional Central Único Coordinador de Ablación e Implante (known by its Spanish acronym as INCUCAI), organized a special session on the implementation status of the Strategy and Plan of Action on Donation and Equitable Access to Organ, Tissue, and Cell Transplants, approved by PAHO Member States at the 57th Directing Council, from September 30 to October 4, 2019.
During the event, participants analyzed countries’ progress on the implementation of the Plan. Several countries reported that donation and transplantation activities were stopped, and other countries mentioned that there was a large reduction compared to the previous year. Most of the human, physical and logistical resources were dedicated to the care of patients with COVID-19.
To address the COVID-19 impact on donation and transplantation systems, PAHO, ONT, RCIDT, and INCUCAI held several meetings for analysis and recommendations to continue or reactivate these services. Among them, it was agreed that PAHO will develop a training plan on governance, registration, quality, and safety in donation and transplantation aimed at professionals from the ministries of health and national transplant organizations. At the same time, PAHO offices will promote that governments give priority to reactivating donation and transplantation activities within the framework of PAHO's regional strategy. A new meeting of the Network will be held in six months to follow up on the analysis of the situation of the countries in the implementation of biosurveillance and of the Strategy and Plan of Action on Donation and Equitable Access to Organ, Tissue, and Cell Transplants
The Network-Council's mission is to develop cooperation among its members and to make recommendations on organizational, regulatory, professional, ethical, and sociological aspects related to the donation and transplantation of organs, tissues, and cells. Since its creation in Mar del Plata in 2005, it has been established as an area of cooperation for the development and strengthening of national systems in that specialty.
The PAHO´s area of Donation and Transplantation mission is to cooperate technically with the national donation and transplantation programs in the Region of the Americas to ensure availability and access to human cells, tissues, and organs, and also the transparency and combating of human cells, tissues and organs trafficking.