“Why Organ Donation Matters to Us All”
The third social awareness event organized within the Eudonorgan project was officially opened at European Parliament on February 18th. The event was attended by 120 healthcare professionals and other relevant stakeholders coming from 33 countries.
Dr. Martí Manyalich (Eudonorgan Project Director, President of DTI) announced that «the project has trained and reached through social awareness actions 400-500 participants all over Europe». Also, Efstratios Chatzixiros, on behalf of Jose R. Nuñez (Adviser on Medical Products of Human Origin Service Delivery and Safety of the WHO), encouraged Eudonorgan project since it should be a common responsibility for all stakeholders, the health authorities, professionals, patient associations, media, etc. to join forces» for organ donation promotion.
Furthermore, Stefaan Van Der Spiegel (Head of Sector, Substances of Human Origin, Unit B4, DG SANTE, European Commission) reminded that « The Commission has learned through the Action Plan the importance of a bottom-up approach to set the agenda by engaging professionals, administrations, politicians and the public opinion».
Luc Colenbie (Expert DG Health Care, Organs, Embryo’s and Bio-Ethics, the Ministry of Health, Belgium), co-promoter of this event, stated that «due to the efforts of the Federal Government and the support of the legislation brought into force in 1986, Belgium is at the European summit on organ donation and transplantation. The government’s objectives are to increase the donor potential, to ensure the quality and safety of recovered organs and to provide an optimal allocation of all available organs».
Pisana Ferrari (lung recipient and strong supporter of organ donation, Member of the Board of the Italian Pulmonary Hypertension Association) endorsed Eudonorgan activity and expressed her «pleasure to be able to offer our support in identifying patients to take part in it. We saw this as a unique opportunity for some of our pulmonary hypertension patients to learn specialized skills that they could take back to their countries to improve the situation there».
At the end of the event, all participants joined the esplanade of the European Parliament for a commemorative act consisting in a launch of biodegradable balloons dedicated to organ donors and the visit to the BELDONOR truck. See the video here!!
Eudonorgan is a service contract awarded by the European Commission on the initiative of the European Parliament. It is implanted by an international consortium, including University of Barcelona (Spain) as project leader, DTI Foundation – Donation and Transplantation Institute (Spain), Institute for transplantation of Organs and Tissues (Slovenia), Institute for Transplantation and Biomedicine, Ministry of Health (Republic of Croatia), Italian National Transplant Centre (Italy), Dinamia Consultoría Social (Spain).
Eudonorgan mainly aims at enhancing the positive attitude towards organ and tissue donation, and ultimately improving donation rates in the European Union and neighboring countries.