On the occasion of European Organ Donation Day, the European Kidney Health Alliance (EKHA) supports the Call to Action to improve Organ Donation and Transplantation across the EU. Endorsed by a wide variety of other concerned patient groups, health advocacy organisations and academics, EU Member States are called upon to support their national transplant programmes to ensure they reach their full potential for organ donation through more favourable consent systems, improved organisation, coordination, logistics, potential donor reach-out and education.
In addition, the European Commission is called to continue and expand its activities in this area as well as fund projects addressing awareness, availability, access, quality and safety. The European Parliament is urged to support stakeholders – patient and health professional organisations – in their efforts to improve both access to transplantation as well as awareness of the importance and benefits to patients.
Organ donation is vital for the treatment and quality of life of patients of all ages – including children – living with a wide variety of conditions. In many cases, organ donation is the only treatment option remaining – and a matter of survival. However, large differences in practices and results exist across the EU. The demand for organs still exceeds the number of available organs in all EU Member States.
Kidney transplantation is the treatment of choice for end-stage kidney disease in suitable patients. Transplantation provides better clinical outcomes than dialysis and substantially reduces the healthcare costs of CKD by avoiding or delaying dialysis and allowing patients to resume activities, including work. Nevertheless, rates of kidney transplantation vary dramatically between EU Member States. Increasing organ donation is a critical component of ongoing efforts to increase kidney transplantation.The Call to Action marks the start of a campaign in which relevant health stakeholders will work to increase public and political will to improve access to transplantation in the EU.
The Call to Action was initiated by the European Pulmonary Hypertension Association. See here for more information about the campaign and endorsing organisations.