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Celebrating 5 years of the Declaration of Istanbul and the Doha Donation Accord

From April 12 to 14, 2013, I was in Doha, Qatar, taking part in a meeting of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG) to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Declaration of Istanbul (DOI), and the Doha Donation Accord. I co-chaired this meeting with Jeremy Chapman, representing the ISN and The Transplant Society respectively.

I was happy to see a large contingent of ISN members amongst the participants. The group discussed topics related to organ trafficking and transplant tourism, and re-iterated the importance of maintaining due diligence. They also talked about continuing efforts to improve outcomes for those living with organ failure, developing deceased donor programs, and focused on issues related to financial incentives for donation.

We also looked at the unique issues relating to the Middle East and the high prevalence of non nationals/expats in these countries and the complexity that this introduces into deceased donor programs.

Our host, Reiyhad Fadhil, graciously ensured that all logistic arrangements were seamless, and that we were able to explore Doha after the meeting. Most importantly, we had the opportunity to see the efforts of the Qatarians in developing and implementing a world class transplant centre, increasing living and deceased donor programs. On the first night of the meeting, we met recipients and donors of all ages and from a variety of countries, all living in Qatar.

I feel that thanks to this meeting, we have reconfirmed the importance of international collaboration and dialogue, a set of shared principles and have adherence to the principles expounded in the DOI in all activities related to organ failure. A number of outputs are planned, including some peer reviewed publications, and some educational and practical tools sets.

It was a privilege and an honor to participate in this meeting, and to do so in the company of such a large number of ISN colleagues. This only reiterates to me the very global nature of our organization and our involvement in so many important aspects of kidney health.

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