EU co-funded project ODISSeA starts its journey in Philippines

  • The project unites 8 Southeast Asian universities and 6 European institutions
  • The goal is to train a total of 320 healthcare professionals in the field of organ donation


From March 19th-21st, representatives of the University of Barcelona, the University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Dinamia S. Coop and DTI Foundation (Donation and Transplantation Institute) visited Ateneo de Davao University, Philippines for the Kick-off meeting of ODISSeA Project. The main objectives, phases and actions were presented and discussed in workgroups during these three days.

The project is originated from the need for a formal training program to train specialized healthcare professionals that will efficiently coordinate the process of organ donation in 4 Southeast Asian countries.

For two months, a team of 40 healthcare professionals from Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines and Thailand, will enrol in a trainer for trainers’ course to learn how transfer the knowledge, competences and attitude needed in organ donation.  This blended training program will consist of an online and a face-to-face course to be held in Barcelona in May.

Once accomplished, they will teach as faculty to the Postgraduate students of these 8 universities so that they will be able to effectively develop organ donation in their daily activities, in their local hospitals in Southeast Asia.

 Southeast Asia: a growing need with non-growing solutions

Asia is the most populated continent in the world. Conversely, the region has the lowest rate of organ donation and transplantation and the fastest growing rate of people entering chronic and end-stage organ failure, according to a study published by Frontiers in Medicine. Also, the evolution of dietary and environmental triggers has made the waiting list grow, while the number of available donors has remained unchanged. Consequently, there is a significant and concerning lack of organs available for those patients needing a transplant.

According to the same study, despite the current situation, there is hope for the future. Treated end-stage renal diseases have increased noticeably from year 2000 to 2013 in three of the countries involved in ODISSeA: Thailand (1210%), Philippines (185%) and Malaysia (176%).  However, the numbers are still low and insufficient to meet the needs. Thailand comes ahead with 4,27 donors per million of population (pmp), Malaysia has 1,10 pmp and the Philippines 0,45pmp.

Thanks to initiatives like ODISSeA project, this scenario is bound to change. Through this project, faculty members and healthcare professionals from Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Myanmar will learn and acquire the necessary knowledge and skills about the most effective donation system. After the project is implemented, a total of 320 doctors will be prepared and qualified to save lives.

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March face to face sessions of the International Master in Donation and Transplantation at the University of Barcelona

From 4th to the 15th of March, three courses were held in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Barcelona: Leadership, Quality and Management in Organ Procurement & Transplantation (March 4-6), with 29 participants from 10 different countries, Organ Procurement (March 6-8) with 30 participants and Organ Transplantation (March 11-15) with 37 participants from 18 countries each.

This is the first part of the face to face training of the International Master in Donation and Transplantation of Organs, Tissues and Cells (University of Barcelona & Transplant Procurement Management) and the Master in Clinical Investigation, Specialty in Donation and Transplantation of Organs, Tissues and Cells (University of Barcelona). The second part (Tissue Banking & Advanced Therapies) will be from 27th to 30th May at the same location.

Apart from the Master participants, the courses were also attended by postgraduate students and free-lancers from Singapore, Pakistan, United Kingdom and Trinidad & Tobago. Throughout the training they were guided by the faculty staff which included top experts from the field.

When it comes to the number of participants, we are proud to say that this edition was even more successful that the last one, with a 45% increase in participation in Leadership, Quality and Management in Organ Procurement & Transplantation, 36% in Organ Procurement and 85% in Organ Transplantation. The number of different nationalities also rose from 17 to 21, compared to last year.

The courses included theoretical sessions and workshops where the participants could put into practice the knowledge acquired in the previous online training that took place between October 2018 and March 2019.

Once again, we offered a high-quality training program that brings together knowledge, skills and best practices in the field of organ donation and transplantation.

International Master in Donation and Transplantation of Organs, Tissues and Cells

New success of the “Curso Superior Internacional en Donación y Trasplante”!

The 29th edition of the “Curso Superior Internacional en Donación y Trasplante de Órganos y Tejidos” took place in February 19th to 22nd in Barcelona and Sant Hilari Sacalm.

The course gathered forty-nine participants representing 11 different countries, such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Portugal and Spain. 14 of them are participating in the “Master Alianza” managed by the ONT (National Transplant Organization), which includes our course as part of its program.

The opening ceremony was held at “Parc Cientific de Barcelona (PCB)” with representatives from the Organización Nacional de Trasplantes (ONT), Organització Catalana de Trasplantaments (OCATT) and PCB.

An innovative element to be highlighted is the collaboration of the social robot “Pepper”, who accompanied the teachers and students during the course in order to favour their learning process.


The evaluation results have been very positive, with an overall average of 4.82 over 5. Our congratulations to all the faculty and staff members who have made the course another success!


“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.


As you may know DTI Community is an international group that aims to connect people interested in organ donation and transplantation. It’s a place where you can share ideas, gain knowledge and build personal and professional connections with people from all over the world

The Community has collaborated in 11 events, 9 online academic webinars, and two face-to-face events during 2018. The first event was its official presentation in May as part of the 10th anniversary of the DTI Foundation. The second was the TPM family breakfast organized in Mexico in the framework of the first intermediate TPM course held in October.

Thanks to all these actions, today the DTI Community is present in 44 countries in 5 continents.

Additionally, DTI Community has incorporated new services:

  • An academic library where you can find guides and official documents on donation and transplantation of organs, tissues and cells in Spain, Europe and internationally. All recorded webinars are also available for those who could not attend on the day of the presentation.
  • The Inbox mail is helping our members to build their network. It is a tool to directly communicate with other DTI Community members around the world.
  • The Facebook group of the community is a space to share experiences and discuss the current news of the donation and transplantation sector. It also keeps members informed of all the new features of the platform.

Ultimately, the DTI community has grown during 2018 and hopes to continue doing so in 2019. If you want to join, you can do it at

ISN – TTS partnership

Since 2016 the South Philippines Medical Center (SPMSC) got into engagement with the University of Barcelona (UB), Hospital Clinic of Barcelona (HCB) and DTI foundation in the ISN-TTS Sister Transplant Centers Program; a joint partnership set up between ISN and The Transplantation Society (TTS) to develop existing Kidney Transplant programs in emerging countries. The objective is to maximize the odds of prompt donor identification, referral and management to lead in efficient organ retrieval and successful transplantation.

On the 5th to 8th of December the experts from the supporting center Dr. Fritz Diekmann, Dr. Anna Vila and Dr. Entela Kondi visited the SPMC and participated in the Post – Graduate Course in Kidney Transplantation MindaNOW organized in cooperation with the Philippines Society of Nephrologists- Mindanao chapter; supported by the ISN-TTS sister transplant center project.

The objective of the visit was to assess the hospital facilities and to discuss with the hospital staff and managers involved in the kidney transplant program. Meetings with transplant nephrologists, surgeons, anesthesiologists, ICU physicians, nurses, pharmacists were organized and information about the clinical practice and protocols were shared. Were visited also the dialysis center of the SPMC and as well as a peripheric dialysis center. During the hospital visit the experts had the chance to participate at the monthly reunion of the interns at the hospital. Moreover, a round table with the patients in dialysis and the post-transplanted patient were organized. Questions and doubts were referred to the experts from the patient and experience on living with a transplant were shared form the recipients. Additionally, the experts participated in the Case Discussion for Transplant Evaluation; the multidisciplinary committee that evaluate the Living Donor – Recipient match.

On the following two days 7-8th the Kidney Transplantation MindaNOW took place and the experts form the supporting center were actively involved in lessons and clinical case discussions with the participants. Talks about immunological assessment, immunosuppression protocols, cancer and cardiovascular risk of the transplanted patients were given by the Spanish experts, meanwhile the local experts explained about the medical assessment, work up of the living kidney donor for transplantation and surgical evaluation and post-operation of the patient.

A detailed report with recommendations and comments will be delivered to the SPMC and proposals for further initiatives will follow.

7th Intermediate TPM Course in Logarska-dolina

DTI Foundation together with the Institute for Transplantation of Organs and Tissues of the Republic of Slovenia (ST), headed by Dr. Danica Avsec, organized the 7th Intermediate TPM Course in Logarska-dolina on 5th to 7th of December 2018. A working Meeting on Organ Donation and Transplantation was also organized by Slovenija-transplant in cooperation with UMC Ljubljana and held at GH Celje and DTI December 5th.

TPM training course brought together 33 national representatives, mainly MD’s specialists in anesthesia, critical care, neurology and internal medicine.

Since 2000, the establishment of organ donation procedures of ST started, and have been under constant development and upgrading in relation to the legislative and ethical requirements, organizational improvements and supporting comprehensive medical training to improve knowledge, in alignment with international best practices. With proven excellency, and over 250 healthcare professionals trained by TPM since 2006, it seems one of the major accomplishments that positively influenced the increase donation rates.


Deceased donation is predominant and reached 20.87 pmp in 2017. It is also remarkable its rates of heart transplants, 11.6 pmp, the highest worldwide.

Our recognition and congratulations for the excellent job!


3rd Intermediate Transplant Procurement Management Course, Davao City 27-29th of November 2018

With a heart and drive to pursue the unfeasible dream comes the birth of the 3rd Intermediate Training Course in Transplant Procurement Management (TPM) in Davao City. It has been a 2-month marvelous journey of preparations and communication to make everything visible. And now, we could say that nothing is impossible if one believed that it is possible.

November 25, 2018, Sunday, faculty from the Transplant Procurement Management and Donation and Transplantation Institute (TPM-DTI) arrived in time for the course. The next day, a series of pre-convention conferences where made to increase awareness and broaden everyone’s network. In the morning, the 2nd Muslim Conference on Deceased Organ Donation was graced by Dr Katy Najafideh, CEO of the Iranian Society of Organ Donation. Together with other experts in the medical field and in Islam religion, they presented the different fatwa’s of the world and how will it help the Philippines come up with their own. Different perspective and comments were raised to clear doubts and misconceptions. While in the afternoon, the 2nd Mindanao Ethical Perspective on Deceased Organ Donation was held. Ethics members of the different hospitals around Mindanao was invited to join the event with the newly reconstituted National Ethics Committee headed by Dr Guia Crisostomo-Tan. Issues where lifted about formulation of national policies, the difficulties that every institution has undergone along the years and solutions to some ethical dilemma.

Following the series of events, on November 27,2018, before officially starting the 3rd TPM, an alumni homecoming was prepared for the batch 1 and 2 of the TPM graduates. It was organized to have an update with the graduates’ progress with deceased organ donation, to distribute their diploma and to strengthen linkages among the participants. Finally, around 2pm of the same day, the 3rd TPM has begun. Different persons from different regions and different societies favored to participate with the training course. During the opening ceremony, they were introduced to what has the Philippines accomplished thru the years with regards to the deceased organ donation, its ethical implications and what can the course produce thru their graduates.

On the second day of the course, participants where augmented with information and lectures to boost their knowledge and feel more confident in handling deceased donors. After going thru a series of serious discussions, the participants were treated to a fellowship dinner with a feast of Davao’s finest foods. It was also the time to celebrate for a Christmas party with games and songs which every guest enjoyed. On the final stretched of the course, different workshops where organized to evaluate the participants learnings and enable them to be experienced actual simulations.

The culmination of the course was made more meaningful with the presence of the key persons that made the dream possible. Director Criselda Abesamis (Director IV of the Department of Health), Dr Maria Theresa Bad-ang (Head, SPMC Human Advocate and Retrieval Effort/ SHARE) and Dr. Leopoldo Vega (Medical Center Chief, Southern Philippines Medical Center) with the TPM-DTI faculty awards the certificates to the graduates to signify that they have astoundingly pass the course after series of evaluations. Today, these graduates will become a part of the bigger family that TPM-DTI has and will become instrumental to the achievement of the increase in the level of deceased donors in the country. #TPMDavaoTrio #GiveLifeGoSHARE.


Moreover, seizing the occasion, Gloria Páez in representation of DTI Foundation attended to support and contribute to the legislative process on the proposed measures for the advancement of organ and tissue donation and transplantation during the Public Hearing of the of The Committee on Health and Demography of the Senate of the Philippines held on November 28th, 2018 at Senate Building, Pasay City, Philippines.

Premiere of the Documentary Trasplantando Sonrisas

Trasplantando Sonrisas presents the final version of a documentary produced by Daristoteles company. The goal is to thank to the health professionals involved in the organ donation and transplantation process, for their continous work and  thank to the society for the generosity in organ donation.

Daristoteles is the producer for the donation campaign and also has the sponsorship of Chiesi Spain.

For nine months Transplantando Sonrisas has visited 10 spanish transplant hospitals, showing the relevant information about donation and transplantation adapted to each hospital.

The documentary is a compilation of the 2.400 interviews perform throughout the project.

Patiients, donors, relative donors and health professionals from different parts of Spain. A compilation that wants to sensitize society about the importance of donating organs for transplant.

Transplantando sonrisas makes clear all the lives can change every day, thanks to health professionals and donor that make the process possible.