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The First World Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation Geneva 14 October 2005

The concept of a World Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation

The idea of a World Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation originated in the organizing committee of the VII European Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation, an event promoted by the Council of Europe: times were mature for a more global approach. In particular, several themes beyond encouraging organ donation needed to be addressed, such as safety, access, and harmonization of transplantation practices worldwide. In this sense, the World Health Organization was recognized as a crucial partner, and the Resolution WHA57.18 of the 57th World Health Assembly (Human Organ and Tissue Transplantation) as a fundamental point to discuss and publicize. The result was an event structured as a continuum from subjects of a local concern to issues that are shared across political and regional boundaries. The World Day for the first time would bring together all stakeholders in organ donation and transplantation, from donor families to governmental regulating bodies.

The First World Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation took place in Geneva, on the eve of the XII meeting of the European Society for Organ Transplantation, with the participation of the Council of Europe, of the World Health Organization, of representatives of The Transplantation Society, of Government Authorities and of Patients' Associations. The day was organized as four round tables discussing

  1. quality of life in transplant patients
  2. sport as a means of rehabilitation and of public awareness
  3. the economical aspects of organ transplantation and
  4. a global perspective on access, regulation and ethics of organ transplantation

The World Day of Organ Donation and Transplantation was officially launched in a ceremony at WHO headquarters where a parchment scroll with the text of the Resolution WHA57, symbolizing an organ, was handed over by Dr Vladimir Lepakhin, senior executive at WHO, to representatives of donor families, from them to caregivers and finally to organ recipients, illustrating the participation of all involved in organ transplantation.

During the 1st World Day the logo "Organ Donation - A Gift for Life" and the song "A Gift for Life" were launched. At the end of the Day, Argentina was passed the baton to organize the 2nd World Day.

Highlights of the 1st Day

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Highlights of the 1st Day, the logo, the song and the full content of the Round Tables can be downloaded and used freely for educational and promotional purposes.

The newsletter of the Transplantation Society has published a report about "A Gift for Life": Download PDF (from The Transplantation Society Newsletter, March 2006, Volume III Issue I)

children's choir


A children's choir performing the original song "A Gift for Life" on the 1st World day for organ donation and transplantation. The words, musical score and the live recording can be freely downloaded from this site.


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