Training and Social Awareness
for Increasing Organ Donation
in the European Union and
Neighbouring Countries

Press Release – First social awareness event in Poland

Press Release – First social awareness event in Poland

WARSAW,

This morning, at the Airport Hotel Okecie in Warszawa, the first social awareness event within the Eudonorgan project was officially opened. The event was attended by 81 healthcare professionals, 8 patients and 5 journalists from Poland and neighboring countries such as Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Czech Republic. Representatives attending the press conference expresses their support and encouragement to the event; this meeting inaugurates the second phase of Eudonorgan project and will involve other European countries in the dissemination of organ donation culture. Belgium, Greece, Hungary, Portugal and Sweden will be the next hosting countries for similar initiatives between 2018 and 2019.

The event addresses some of the hot topics related to organ donation and transplantation, in addition to personal witnesses from a donor’s family, a living donor and a member of patient support group. Furthermore, the afternoon session was dedicated to communication and social media which still represent a challenge in terms of effectiveness and public trust.
Eudonorgan is a service contract, funded by the European budget on the initiative of the European Parliament. It was awarded by the European Commission and developed by an international consortium, including universities and organizations located in Spain, Slovenia, Croatia and Italy. 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. The social awareness initiatives are led by the Institute for Organ and Tissue Transplantation of the Republic of Slovenija, Slovenija-transplant and additionally coordinated by the Institute for Transplantation and Biomedicine – Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia.
For a full description of the event, please download the final program.

Representatives attending the press conference:

  • Chief Physician Danica Avsec, MD, Slovenija Transplant, EUDONORGAN WP2 leader.
  • Ministry of Health of the Republic of Poland – Mr Sławomir Gadomski.
  • Assoc. Prof. Artur Kamiński, M.D., Ph.D., Polish Transplant Coordinating Centre Poltransplant, National Centre for Tissue and Cell Banking, Warsaw, Poland.
  • Assoc. Prof. Jarosław Czerwiński, M.D., Ph.D., Polish Transplant Coordinating Centre Poltransplant, Warsaw, Medical University in Warsaw, Poland.
  • Anna Jakubowska-Winecka, Ph.D., Warsaw, Poland.
  • Mrs Małgorzata Rejdych, Poland (organ recipient).
  • Mr Przemysław Saleta, Poland (living donor).

Quotes speakers:

«The moment of death is not a time to negotiate about deceased attitude towards organ donation. The close ones should already have this knowledge and communicate it to transplant coordinator, that is why we should talk about organ transplantation».
Assoc. Prof. Jarosław Czerwiński, M.D., Ph.D.
Polish Transplant Coordinating Centre, Poltransplant, Warsaw, Poland.
Medical University of Warsaw, Poland.

«Social campaigns must emphasise that organ donation from living donor is carried out without harm to health. It should be stressed that organ transplantation is not an experiment – it is a safe and well established treatment method. CBOS surveys indicate that 80% of Polish people are willing to donate their organs after death. It is concerning that 75% of them have never talked about it with their close ones».
Mr Sławomir Gadomski, Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Health, Poland.

«One of six potential donors is rejected despite lack of objection registered in Central Registry of Objections. The common cause is lack of prior communicating a clear attitude towards organ transplantation to the family by the deceased. You, journalists, have an opportunity to reach millions of readers, listeners and viewers. We ask you, journalists, and through you all Polish people to talk with their families about organ donation. Your decision may assume the form of a declaration of will. A declaration, in which you express a will to donate a part of your body to someone who needs it to survive».
Assoc. Prof. Artur Kamiński, M.D., Ph.D.
Polish Transplant Coordinating Centre, Poltransplant, Warsaw, Poland.
National Centre for Tissue and Cell Banking, Warsaw, Poland.

«Authorisation of organ donation is of key importance for social reception of organ transplantation. Thus, it is important to create a positive attitude in whole hospital, among medical personnel and hospital management. ICU should have clear rules of communication and coherent strategies of conduct, building trust and sense of security».
Anna Jakubowska-Winecka, Ph.D., Warsaw, Poland.

«I have established and I manage Society of Heart Transplant Patients; I help patients like me, support those awaiting transplantation and their families, organise various workshops, lectures and meetings. And I live. As a healthy person with an undimmed appetite for life».
Mrs Małgorzata Rejdych, Poland.