Advanced Transplant Coordinators’ Workshop 2019 held in Chennai
MOHAN Foundation in collaboration with the Network and Alliance of Transplant Coordinators (NATCO) organised an Advanced Transplant Coordinators’ Workshop on 21st and 22nd June 2019 in Chennai. Around 50 transplant coordinators and healthcare professionals from across the country participated in the workshop. The scientific sessions included:
- • Hand Transplantation – Perspectives of a Recipient, Surgeon and Transplant Coordinator
- • Patient Support Group - Stakeholder Viewpoints
- • Social Media as a Tool to Promote Causes
- • Islamic Perspectives on Organ Donation
Ms Shreya Siddanagowder, Asia’s first bilateral above elbow hand transplant recipient, spoke about the transplant and recovery process. She expressed her immense gratitude to the donor family. This was followed by a talk on the hand transplantation procedure by Dr. K. Subramania Iyer, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi. He took the transplant coordinators through the basics of hand matching and the surgical process. He explained the importance of constant counselling for patients and their families, pre and post-transplant. The next speaker Mr. V. G. Prasad, Transplant Coordinator from Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi spoke about the legal requirements to set up and run a hand transplant centre as well as patients on the waiting list and the large number of patients who contact him frequently.
He requested MOHAN Foundation to train counsellors in requesting for hands and upper limbs to be donated along with other organs. The coordinators found the session both motivational and educational. The chairpersons were Dr. R. Krishnamurthy from SIMS Hospital and Ms. Pallavi Kumar of MOHAN Foundation
The discussion on Patient Support Group was chaired by Ms. Aneka Paul, Tata Trusts and Mrs. Lalitha Raghuram of MOHAN Foundation. Mrs. Jaya Jairam spoke briefly about her experience as a recipient and her decision to receive an organ from her mother. Ms. Sohini Chattopadhyay spoke (via Skype) about how a family does not have many options and avenues to gather information about transplantation and donors in India. Mrs. Usha Balasubramanian spoke of her experience of caring for her late husband who was a chronic kidney disease patient. Mr. Kamal Shah, Co-Founder of NephroPlus, spoke of his journey of trying various dialysis options, lack of information available to patients and ways to access them. Finally, Dr. Suresh Sankar, Nephrologist, spoke of the limitations doctors have and the importance of having a support group. A panel discussion moderated by Dr. Sankar had the speakers along with Dr. Balaji Kirushnan, Nephrologist from Kauvery Hospital discuss the shaping of a support group.
Mr. Adinarayana Dasika, Vice President, MOHAN USA chaired a session on using social media as a tool to promote causes like organ donation. The speaker, Dr. Sunil Shroff, Managing Trustee, MOHAN Foundation, offered a comparison of various social media platforms and explained ways to optimally use them. He mentioned that Twitter has a wide reach and YouTube is most impactful. Using infographics and templates on social media was also shown by Ms Amala – Graphic Designer, Medindia. An impromptu crowd funding exercise was demonstrated for the participants as well.
Dr. Sunil Shroff chaired the next session on Islamic Perspectives on Organ Donation which began with the reporting of research findings on ‘Islamic Perception on Organ Donation’ by Ms. Ishwarya Thyagarajan, MOHAN Foundation. The survey indicated that religion strongly influences decisions made in relation to donating or receiving organs in the community. Religious leaders and religious texts have considerable clout in the matter. The results also suggested that while there is a strong reluctance to donate organs, receiving organs is widely accepted. A lack of general awareness regarding organ donation and transplantation was evident as well. This was followed by a comprehensive talk by Dr. Riadh Fadhil, Director of Qatar Organ Donation Centre, (via Skype) on how the Islamic rulings on organ donation, brain death, living donations came about in different countries. He also explained how these rulings helped the community to understand the concept and accept organ donation.
Mr. Amjid Ali, Strategic Partner, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), UK (via Skype) shared the initiatives taken and the progress made in improving organ donation in Muslim communities in UK. He concluded his talk saying that, looking at UK’s experience, ‘Educate – Inspire – Reform’ would be the way forward for effective community engagement.
Mr. Faizur Rahman A, Secretary, Islamic Forum for the Promotion of Moderate Thought, Chennai spoke on how Islam should be viewed not as a religion, but a way of life that has humanitarianism and peace at its core.
Dr. P.K. Abdul Rahiman: Collating and presenting the existing fatwas on organ donation to the different sections of Muslim communities in India has to be initiated. This would help tide over the various questions raised on fatwas by the common Muslims and therefore help the larger well-being of the society.
Mr. Faizur Rahman: Organ donation is low among the Muslims; the religion Islam is as such not a reason, but the Islamic interpretations are. Interpreting the Qur’an to the modern times without violating the basic values of Islamic faith is the need of the hour.
Dr. T. Ameen Ahmed: Religion may not be the lone hindrance. There may be other factors which could have been experienced by non- Muslims. These factors should be looked at and addressed as well.
Mr. Amjid Ali: A multi-dimensional approach would help in holistic education. Disseminating knowledge about the religious faith among the medical community; educating the ulemas on the medical science; engaging the faith groups which will appeal the human interest.
Mr. Senthil Kumar: Muslims who have expressed their unwillingness have stated only religion as the reason for refusal, even if they had other personal concerns.
- Copyright ©2019. Published by MOHAN Foundation
- Keywords: Hand Transplantation, Social media, Patient support group, Islam perspectives