Report ESOT congress 2023
Alliance Networks Patient Inclusive Activities at ESOT Congress 2023 in Athens.
The ESOT Congress is the largest gathering of the transplant community in Europe, bringing together clinicians, surgeons, physicians, nurses, scientists, researchers and patients.
The purpose of it is to review latest developments in transplantationn in various fields – the latest science and education in various session formats, including state-of-the-art presentations, solution rooms, debates, hands-on courses, storytelling and more.
People after organ transplantation and members of associations had limited access to lectures. What I observe it was that most of the lectures, studies and debates related to the topic of liver and kidney transplantation, a little about heart transplantation and something general that concerns mostly people after an organ transplant – medicine is making great progress on the topic of anti-rejection drugs.
Recommendation for patient organisations
We received a lecture on the topic of a healthy lifestyle. Just as the Mediterranean diet is the most recommended diet for PH patients, the same is recommended for people after an organ transplant. The results are extraordinary and prove how you can regulate your metabolism and keep your organs “young” and strong with proper nutrition, despite medication, which cause side effects.
This topic is extremely important. The summary of this lecture was that walking is healthy, but not enough for someone after organ transplant. What we all had in common was that the doctors gave insufficient advices on what people should do after the transplant, how much physical load to bear, how often should we do exercise. Patients would like to have guidelines, and we think it is important that associations include this in their yearly program, because it prolong patients’ life.
Lack of support, understanding and psychological treatment is also something what can be improve in the future. The awareness of the importance of being mentally strong is more than clear. This congress gave new inputs and motivated us to open the topic and add it to the list of association activities – also raising awareness about the needs of people after the transplant.
Raising awareness about organ donation
Raising awareness about that topic is very important. There are many ways to be heard. For example. All ESOT Congress attendees were invited to the presentation of the project “The Value of Scars” supported and developed by the National Federation of Liver Patients and Transplant Patients (FNETH), Spain. A moment to reflect on what does the wound of a transplanted person mean.
Then we had also opportunity to saw a presentation of Slovenian Transplant association: “My scar. May life“. It was an art exhibition of extraordinary photographs showing peoples scars after transplants – their scars show strength and their new life.
Patient Engagement Room
At this congress they put people at the heart of transplantation. They arranged a Patient Engagement Room at the Congress Venue. This room was designed exclusively for people who received a transplant and their families, providing a space for connection, and to enjoy a moment of peace in a busy congress centre.
Opportunity for PHA Europe
In PHA Europe we are well aware how important it is to talk also about organ donation, since some patients are potential candidates for organ transplantation. I see the opportunity to motive members even more that they include this awareness in their yearly plan, while they are planning awareness campaigns about PH. It can go hand-by-hand. In Slovenian association we are doing that for many years and receive positive feedback.
Being part of this congress with an amazing people, who are writing a future for so many patients was extraordinary and also emotional.
The report is available in PDF from here: Report ESOT congress 2023 – Tadeja Ravnik
Board member, PHA Europe