Journal Article

Current status of transplantation and organ donation in the Balkans—could it be improved through the South-eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN) initiative?

Goce Spasovski, Mirela Busic, Lydia Raley, Pellumb Pipero, Lada Sarajlić, Andreja Subotić Popović, Theodora Dzhaleva, Igor Codreanu, Marina Mugosa Ratković, Irinel Popescu, Mirjana Laušević, Danica Avsec, Henrik Ekberg, Rutger Ploeg and Francis Delmonico

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 27, issue 4, pages 1319-1323
Published in print April 2012 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online April 2012 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfs071
Current status of transplantation and organ donation in the Balkans—could it be improved through the South-eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN) initiative?

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Organ donation and transplantation activity in the majority of Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria) are lagging far behind international averages. Inadequate financial resources, unclear regional data and lack of government infrastructure are some of the issues which should be recognized to draw attention and lead to problem-solving decisions. The Regional Health Development Centre (RHDC) Croatia, a technical body of the South-eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN), was created in 2011 after Croatia's great success in the field over the last 10 years. The aim of the RHDC is to network the region and provide individualized country support to increase donation and transplantation activity in collaboration with professional societies (European Society of Organ Transplantation, European Transplant Coordinators Organization, The Transplantation Society and International Society of Organ Donation and Procurement). Such an improvement would in turn likely prevent transplant tourism.

The regional data from 2010 show large discrepancies in donation and transplantation activities within geographically neighbouring countries. Thus, proposed actions to improve regional donation and transplantation rates include advancing living and deceased donation through regular public education, creating current and accurate waiting lists and increasing the number of educated transplant nephrologists and hospital coordinators. In addition to the effort from the professionals, government support with allocated funds per deceased donation, updated legislation and an established national coordinating body is ultimately recognized as essential for the successful donation and transplantation programmes. By continuous RHDC communication and support asked from the health authorities and motivated professionals from the SEEHN initiative, an increased number of deceased as well as living donor kidney transplantations in the future should be more realistic.

Keywords: Balkans; deceased donation; kidney transplantation; SEEHN; transplant tourism

Journal Article.  2114 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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