European educational initiative through TPM-DTI for better donation and transplantation results in the Republic of Moldova

Education is a main factor for improving donation and transplantation results. Within the twinning project Strengthening the Transplant Agency of the Republic of Moldova and support in legal approximation in the area of quality and safety of substances of human origins (MD10/ENP-PCA/HE/11b) funded by the European Union, Transplant Procurement Management – Donation Transplantation Institute (TPM-DTI), Spain, along with the Catalan Transplant Organization (OCATT), Spain, Agence de Biomédecine, France, the Transplant Agency of the Republic of Moldova (RM) and their collaborative experts, designed, developed and implemented in compliance with the Guide to the quality and safety of organs for transplantation, Council of Europe, a two level educational initiative aimed at meeting the training needs of the Moldavian health care professionals involved in organ donation (D), transplantation (T) and tissue banking  (TB).

Objectives

To train 80 people working in the Moldovan health care system (transplant coordinators, liver and kidney transplant professionals, tissue bank staff, the professionals of the Transplant Agency and from the Ministry of Health) on the basis of EU and international best practices.

Methodology

Face to face (F2F) and online (OL) training was provided to two different target groups: healthcare professionals working or about to join D&T&TB, and key professionals able to change D&T&TB practices in their centers. Theoretical sessions blended with practical activities to reinforce the knowledge acquired. Participants debated clinical cases and attended hands-on learning sessions. Continuous and final evaluation was performed. Moreover, pre-course tests were implemented for comparison. Virtual classrooms were created for all the F2F courses to facilitate knowledge retention during training.

Results

Of all attending participants (n=115; 93,33% MDs) 34 attended the F2F organ donation course, 45 the F2F transplantation course and 36 the F2F tissue banking course. Of them, 10 professionals joined the TPM-DTI OL programs in organ procurement and tissue banking. Medical knowledge increased with 17,26% (D), 14,19% (T) and 13,16% (TB) by the end of the training. Academic programs were scored with 4,58 (D), 4,71 (T) and 4,33 (TB) and organizational aspects were evaluated between 4,41 and 4,80 (5 – excellent to 1 – poor).

Conclusions

The educational initiative has been part of a European multifactorial approach that has been tackling various key aspects such as education, awareness, legislation, operational and best quality standards in D&T&TB in RM. Further recommendations have been given to continue in a sustainable way the educational program and provide well trained professionals for better results.