Brazil's Ministry of Health and the Syrian-Lebanese Hospital (HSL) announced the establishment of a partnership for promoting a course in organ transplant. The opening of the course by the National Transplant Network (Rentrans) happened at the HSL, in the city of São Paulo, according to information supplied by the press offices of the two institutions.
Under the agreement, the two organizations intend to develop Organ Transplant Centers in 16 different Brazilian states where a small number of surgeries of the type are conducted. This will take place by providing training to professionals in fields such as organ procurement, organ distribution, and the surgical procedures in themselves. The aim is for 40 people to conclude the course by next year.
The first class taking the course comprises seven doctors from six states, who are going to take internships in São Paulo for periods ranging from two months to one year.
The internships will take place at the Kidney Hospital, the Transplant Central of the State Secretariat for Health, the Organ Procurement Organization (OPO), the Santa Casa hospital, and the HSL. Investment in training should total 3.5 million Brazilian reais (US$ 1.7 million), according to the ministry and the HSL.
The ministry has also informed that out of 18,989 transplants carried out across the country in 2008, only 3,126 took place in the states participating in the course. The participating states are: Acre, Amazonas, Pará, Rondônia, Maranhão, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Alagoas, Sergipe, Bahia, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Goiás, Santa Catarina and the Federal District.
According to the HSL, the course is one of 19 philanthropic initiatives maintained by the hospital in partnership along with the ministry for developing the Unified Healthcare System (SUS).
Forecasted investment in the programs, according to the institution, is 115 million reais (US$ 57.8 million) over the course of three years, in order to spread among public agents the knowledge amassed by the HSL.