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Deyalsingh: T&T eyes Spain for organ transplant

Monday, March 12, 2018
Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh ,right, shares a light moment with Assistant Secretary General in charge of Human and Social Development, Dr Douglas Slater and Health Systems and Services Advisor, T&T Country Office, PAHO/WHO Dr Edwin Vincente Bolastig during the Caribbean Organ Donation and Transplant Summit at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya yesterday. PICTURE ABRAHAM DIAZ

Declaring that it is time to step up organ transplant in T&T, Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh said T&T is exploring the option of seeking expertise from Spain when it comes to organ transplant, but no decision has been made yet.

“We are going to hold public education drives, it is something that I have been thinking about two months now. I have spoken to his Excellency (Javier Carbajosa, Spain’s Ambassador to T&T) to see how we can further deepen the relationship between Spain and T&T in the area of organ transplants,” Deyalsingh said after delivering the feature address at the first Caribbean Organ Donation and Transplant Summit which was held yesterday at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya.

According to data from the National Transplant Organisation in 2017, a total of 5,259 organ transplants were carried out in Spain and is known to be the global leader in organ transplant.

What is clear he said, is that there is need for a sustained plan for organ transplant in T&T including more people coming forward to be donors. Taking a leading role, he announced his pledge to be a donor, but did not give details about his plans.

T&T is not alone when it comes to the under supply of organs Deyalsingh said, but he is convinced that educating the public about becoming a donor would improve the supply of organs.

“What we have to do in T&T is get people to appreciate that being an organ donor does not impact on their quality of life. The same way I am leading personally, the charge to bring down maternal mortality where we have spectacularly successful, infant mortality where we have been relatively successful, the flu vaccine drive-I am also going to lead the charge on educating people about the benefits of becoming a donor because it needs high-level advocacy.”

Asked specifically whether T&T is looking to bring experts from Spain he said, “we haven’t worked out the details as yet, so I don’t want to put anybody on the spot, it’s a work in progress.”

Ambassador Carbajosa praised T&T for its efforts in implementing the legislation dealing with organ transplant. He said T&T is a leading country in the region in terms of medical advances. He noted that public education about being a donor is always needed.


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