European Organ Donation Day: Call to Action to improve donation and transplantation

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, we call on the European Commission 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.

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. The demand for kidneys still exceeds the number of available kidneys in all EU Member States. Increasing organ donation is a critical component of ongoing efforts to increase kidney transplantation.

In order to provide equal access to transplantation, while simultaneously reducing its costs, an alignment of procedures and practices across Member States, EKHA calls on the European Commission to assess the different treatment modalities for chronic kidney diseases currently used in the EU and the factors influencing the treatment choices by patients and doctors.
This will allow for new solutions to improve donation and transplantation rates and outcomes, thereby improving overall quality of care of patients with CKD in the EU.

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