Improvement in kidney transplantation in the Balkans after the Istanbul Declaration: where do we stand today?
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CitationSpasovski, Goce, Mirela Busic, and Francis Delmonico. 2015. “Improvement in kidney transplantation in the Balkans after the Istanbul Declaration: where do we stand today?” Clinical Kidney Journal 9 (1): 172-175. doi:10.1093/ckj/sfv116. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ckj/sfv116.
AbstractDue to the limited access to kidney transplantation (KTx) in developing countries, desperate patients have engaged in the purchase and sale of kidneys. In 2004, the World Health Assembly urged member states to protect the poor and vulnerable from being exploited through practices of illegal organ trafficking that had become widespread throughout the world. In 2008, the international transplant community convened a summit of transplant professionals, legal experts and ethicists to combat organ trafficking, transplant tourism and transplant commercialism that resulted in the Declaration of Istanbul (DOI). The South-Eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN) represents a nine country multigovernmental collaboration on health systems. The Regional Health Development Centre on Organ Donation and Transplant Medicine (RHDC) was established in 2011 in Croatia to facilitate cooperation among south-eastern European countries to improve organ transplantation within the Balkan region. Since 2011, a collaboration between the RHDC, the Custodian Group of the DOI (DICG) and SEEHN professionals has enhanced strategic planning and definition of country-specific action plan priorities on organ donation and transplantation. Data of kidney transplantation provided in this report show a significant increase in transplantation activities in a 4-year period in Macedonia, Moldova, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Romania and Montenegro. The success of the donation and transplantation programmes was influenced by the engagement of key professionals and the establishment of organizational infrastructure with the implementation of an appropriate funding model. In conclusion, the DOI has provided an ethical framework for engagement of health professionals from south-eastern European countries. The newly established SEEHN RHDC as a technical coordinating body greatly contributed in building institutional capacity and strengthening regional collaboration between health authorities and professionals within these countries for improvement of transplant activities in the Balkans.
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