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AROUND SLOVAKIA

Number of transplants grows in Slovakia

SO FAR this year 99 kidney transplants, 22 heart transplants and seven liver transplants have been performed in Slovakia. These figures are lower than for 2007, but already exceed the number of procedures carried out in 2006, Daniel Kuba, the head of the Slovak Centre for Organ Transplants, told the SITA newswire.

The first liver transplant took place in Banská Bystrica in June 2008.(Source: Sme - Ján Krošlák)

SO FAR this year 99 kidney transplants, 22 heart transplants and seven liver transplants have been performed in Slovakia. These figures are lower than for 2007, but already exceed the number of procedures carried out in 2006, Daniel Kuba, the head of the Slovak Centre for Organ Transplants, told the SITA newswire.

2007 was characterised by the highest number of transplants in the history of Slovakia when a total of 209 kidney transplants and 22 heart transplants took place. Liver transplants only began this year.

"In general, the trend is towards an increase in the number of both donors and transplants," Kuba said.

A joint project by the Slovak Health Ministry and its Italian counterpart, financed by the European Commission, was recently carried out to improve the safety, quality and accessibility of organs and
tissues for transplants. It was intended to lay the foundations for a quality management system for removal and transplantation of organs, tissues and cells, in order to secure the highest possible levels of health protection.

The project was implemented between November 2006 and November 2008 with a grant of €865,000. Within the project, an audit of tissue cells and transplant centres was made, and a quality management manual created; this is now one of the most modern in the European Union, according to the head of Italy's National Transplant Centre, Nanni Costa.

A new information system to register donors and recipients of organs, tissues, and cells meant for transplant was also developed. It is one of the first in Europe to integrate the process of removal and transplant.

"The system provides information support for the programme of removal, allocation, and transplant of organs, tissues, and cells, and secures long-term monitoring of patients after transplant, as well as monitoring and notification of undesirable events," said Adam Hochelm, the head of the health section at the Health Ministry. The new information system is already operating, but will run parallel to the old system until the end of the year.

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