This year I had the privilege to attend the 17th edition of the European Day for Organ Donation (EODD) which was hosted in Lisbon, Portugal, on October 9th and 10th, with an opening Press Conference on October 8th. Portugal hosted this event for the second time, first time being in the year 2000. This year’s event was organized under the motto of “Art & Transplantation”.

Youtube-Video: The Council of Europe celebrates EODD |  EODD Brussels →

The program was based on the “7 Arts Manifesto” – Dance, Sculpture, Theatre, Painting, Music, Literature and Cinema, aiming to inform and clarify the Portuguese Population about donation and transplantation, and pay a tribute to donators, families, and all the professionals and stakeholders involved in the process.
The celebrations started on the 9th of October with the Reception of guests betweeb 19:30 and 20:30, followed from 21:30 by a concert, Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” marked by the tribute to organ donors and their families, to transplant patients and professionals who work on behalf of a national transplant system responsible, non-commercial, ethical, and professionals.
For this concert held in Aula Magna of the University of Lisbon, Alameda University - Lisbon, the entrance was free of charge, tickets being distributed among general population.
On October 10th in the morning there was the official ceremony, between 09:30 – 12:00, Venue: Câmara de Comércio e Industria Portuguesa, presented by Catarina Furtado¹ and aimed to tribute all intervenient in this activity, with interventions of the IPST Directive Board Chairman, President of the Portuguese Transplantation Society, and the Representative of EDQM.

¹ Catarina Furtado is a Portuguese television presenter, actress and UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador.


Presentation by Catarina Furtado


During this session there was: a Tribute to donors and professionals speech by Helder Trindade, Chairman of the Directive Board, Instituto Português do Sangue e da Transplantação Fernando Macário, Chairman, Sociedade Portuguesa de Transplantação; a speech by the representative of the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and HealthCare, Karl Hein Buchheit, Head of Department DBO, EDQM; Closure of the session by H.S. Secretary of State Assistant to the Minister of Health, Fernando Leal da Costa. The session was closed by a small concert from the children Choir “Pequenos Cantores dos Jerónimos”.


The Choir “Pequenos Cantores dos Jerónimos”

After the official opening ceremony, street activities started at 12h00, with the institutional stands fair, located in an emblematic Lisbon Square – Praça dos Restauradores, where people participated in an on-foot treasure hunt that combined the search for the 7 arts and transplantation.
The street activities included:
- Peddy – Paper;
- Music – Magna Tuna ApocallSCSPiana; DJ Pedro Goncalves; Escola Prof. Augustino Roseta;
- A photographic exhibition - 35 years of transplantation – Art in images;
- Regional Coordination Offices (Ana Maria Calvão da Silva, José Gerardo Oliveira, José Mendes do Vale, Lucas Batista, Maria da Cruz Palma, Maria do Rosário Caetano Pereira);
- Institutional stands with distribution of gifts;
- Street performers: Mens statue; Ballons Sculpture; - Face painting for children.
Unfortunately, the weather was not the best for this kind of street activities events.



At 14h00 the scientific session started at the Câmara de Comércio e Industria Portuguesa with the theme “Organ Donation in the 21st Century” with the objective of raising discussion about donation and transplantation state of the art in the world also discussing the challenges and obstacles of medicine of transplantation.
The session inculded a Welcome and Introduction speech held by Ana França, National Transplant Coordinator, Instituto Português do Sangue e da Transplantação Susana Sampaio, Portuguese Transplantation Society and the following topics:


14:10 – 14:40 Organ Donation – How far can we go?
Chairs: Maria João Aguiar, Anesthesiologist, C.H. Lisboa Central; Ana Paula Fernandes, Donor Hospital Coordinator, Hospital Prof. Doutor Fernando da Fonseca. Speakers: Rafael Matesanz, Director, Organización Nacional de Trasplantes; Ana França, National Transplant Coordinator, Instituto Português do Sague e da Transplantação.

14:40 – 15:10 Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism
Chairs: Ana Pires Silva, Legal Advisor, Instituto Português do Sangue e da Transplantação Fernando Macário, President, Sociedade Portuguesa de Transplantação. Speakers: Francis Delmonico, Medical Director, New England Organ Bank Domingos Machado, Nephrologist, C.H. Lisboa Ocidental.

15:10 – 15:40 Transplant beyond immunology
Chairs: André Weighert, Nephrologist, C.H. Lisboa Ocidental; Maria do Rosário Sancho, Technical Director, Centro de Sangue e Transplantação, Instituto Português do Sangue e da Transplantação. Speaker: Mark D. Stegall, Medical Director, Mayo Clinic.

16:00 – 17:00 - 35 years of transplantation activity in Portugal – messages to the coming generations
Chairs: João Queirós e Melo (to be confirmed) João Rodrigues Pena; Alexandre Linhares Furtado Joaquim Machado Caetano Alfredo Mota. Speakers: Helder Trindade; Eduardo Barroso; Manuel Antunes; Rui Almeida; José Fragata.

17:00 – 17:30 Farewell and closing remarks by Ana França, National Transplant Coordinator, Instituto Português do Sague e da Transplantação Fernando Macário, Chairman, Sociedade Portuguesa de Transplantação.

With this program Portugal fulfilled the main goal of European Organ Donation Day 2015.

Regarding our Federation profile, I can say that Portugal has 4 Heart Transplant Centers and 1 Lung Transplant Center, with aprox. 50 lung transplants per year. Also, during my stay in Lisbon I met and established contact with one of the organizers, Ms Catarina Bolotinha from Instituto Português do Sangue e da Transplantação and also with Dr. Marta Lopez Fraga, Scientific Officer at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.



written by Andy Mihail, Treasurer of the EHLTF

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