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Meeting of African Ministers of Health  during the Conference on Patient Safety.

Cotonou – Benin -  December 2012

Fairtransplant supported a session on "Transplantation of cells, tissues and organs in the context of risk management and patient safety in Africa”, co-organized with WHO during the CIMSEF 2012, the first International Conference of Ministers of Health of African Patient Safety, held in Cotonou – Benin - from 10 to 14 December 2012.

In contrast to the rest of the world, most countries in sub-Saharan Africa have no legal framework for the donation and transplantation of cells, tissues and organs. Yet, these countries are beginning to develop  kidney transplant programmes as this is the most economical and effective treatment of end stage renal disease. Moreover, in these regions where corneal blindness is frequent, it is important to develop corneal donation.  A legal framework is necessary to protect the recipients, donors, surgical team and the community as a whole. In addition, these countries are vulnerable to multiple international traffics of cells, tissues and organs, from which they need to be protected.

The CIMSEF 2012 is a continuation of an initiative of the French-speaking countries on the theme of patient safety. In Cotonou, 17 African countries were represented including 2 Portuguese-speaking countries (Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau), 3 English-speaking countries (Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria) and 12 French-speaking countries: Algeria - Benin - Burkina Faso - Comoros - Ivory Coast - Gabon - Guinea - Mali - Mauritania - Senegal - Togo- Tunisia.

In the conclusions of the CIMSEF 2012, among the recommendations to the attention of health ministries and governments of African countries, there was the urge of  "Implementing in Africa the legislation for the development of activities of organ transplantation and human cells in health systems “. Fairtransplant will continue to support WHO work in this direction.