Washington DC, 9 January 2020 (PAHO)- Representatives from Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana and Jamaica, participated in a meeting with the Pan American Health Organization, held in La Habana, Cuba, 18 November 2019, to discuss the development of the sub regional network of Caribbean countries to advance in the strengthening and developing of nationals Plan of Action on Donation and Equitable Access to Organ, Tissue, and Cell Transplants 2019-2030. 

Caribbean countries presented on the challenges the countries are facing in different areas, such as, limited information available in the sub region due to lack of donation and transplant records, inadequate regulation for donation of deceased donors, and limited human resources trained in the area. In addition, they expressed the necessity to review the financing mechanisms to facilitate the access to transplants and program development.


At the meeting, the following topics were addressed: 1) Strategy and Plan of Action on Donation and Equitable Access to Organ, Tissue, and Cell Transplants 2019-2030, and its importance for countries to advance in the consolidation of their national plans; 2) the experience in developing Cooperation for Health Development (CCHD) for cooperation mechanism between countries and PAHO; 3) the DONASUR registry; 4) WHO's role in the topic and the global donation and transplant registry (GODT); and 5) PAHO Strategic Fund, the mechanism for the pooled procurement of essential medicines and health technologies in the Region.

Several actions to develop with the Caribbean countries were identified to promote donation and transplantation in the Region:

  • Development of a proposal for a legislative framework for organ donation and transplantation (strengthening the deceased donation). 
  • Review of the current recommendations of the Ibero-American Donation and Transplant Council (RCIDT) Network and identify and update those that strengthen the development of the plan. 
  • Strengthening or development of national donation and transplant registries. 
  • Progress in the implementation of cost-effectiveness studies of renal replacement therapies in the Region. 

The meeting was framed on the Strategy and Plan of Action on Donation and Equitable Access to Organ, Tissue, and Cell Transplants 2019-2030, approved by PAHO Member States during its 57th Directing Council. As part of the agreed strategy and with PAHO’s support, countries will seek to increase the availability of organs, tissues, and cells by promoting unpaid voluntary donation. They will also strengthen their health authorities in efforts to expand equitable access to quality transplants, while improving their legislation and oversight capacity in order to prevent illegal organ trafficking and “transplant tourism”.

XIX meeting of the Ibero-American Donation and Transplant Council Network

In addition to the sub regional meeting, representatives of the Caribbean countries participated at the XIX meeting of the Ibero-American Donation and Transplant Council (RCIDT) Network, which is sponsored by the National Transplant Organization of Spain (NTO), and brings together countries of Latin America (plus Spain and Portugal), from 19-21 November 2019, in La Habana, Cuba. The objective of the meeting was to strengthen different projects and guide the work towards the implementation of the Plan of Action on Donation and Equitable Access to Organ, Tissue, and Cell Transplants 2019-2030, with support from the RCIDT and NTO.

Some of the themes addressed during the XIX Meeting included the accession of Latin American countries to the Council of Europe Convention on the fight against trafficking in human organs; the development of a Master Alliance, whereby health professionals from Latin America, designated by their national authorities, are trained as transplant coordinators in Spain; the adoption of common standards of quality and safety of organs, tissues and cells for clinical use; and the supranational registry administered by INCUCAI (Argentina), DONASUR, that allows the introduction of individual data from donors and recipients (with traceability guaranteed) and gives countries the opportunity to use the system as their own national registry.

“Although much progress has been made in the Americas regarding donation and transplantation, there are still gaps in people´s awareness, the organization of the national systems and the availability of organs,” said Mauricio Beltran, Advisor on Blood and Transplant Services at PAHO/WHO. “This meeting has been very useful to articulate and share experiences with the Caribbean countries, in order to promote the tasks of the donation and transplant plan in those territories.”

In addition, PAHO presented a tool to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of different decisions on renal replacement therapies and the PAHO system for the centralized acquisition of immunosuppressants.