The University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) were selected to be part of the Organ Donation Innovative Strategies in Southeast Asia (ODISSeA), a specialized training program that seeks to educate doctors and nurses to improve and effectively communicate their knowledge and technical skills in organ transplantation. This aims to make sure that sustainable and efficient organ donation systems can be established in the Philippines and in other selected countries in SEA such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar. This is a project co-funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union and led by the University of Barcelona (UB) and the Donation and Transplantation Institute (DTI) Foundation based in Spain.

As a Participant, UST will be responsible for having ODISSeA accredited and implemented in the university: recruiting students, assuring the delivery of the training, and sustaining the program to ultimately improve and develop the deceased organ donation program of the Department of Health.

Last March 19-21, 2019, ODISSeA was launched during the Kick-Off Meeting held in Davao City, with all the participating universities from SEA, Spain, Croatia, and Italy in attendance, paving the way for a focus and intense intellectual and cultural exchange.

This is a pioneering work that will hopefully provide one of the solutions to the growing problem of donor scarcity in the field of organ transplantation not only in the Philippines but in the rest of the world as well. The project aims, among others, to increase the number of deceased donors and therefore save more lives.

Representing the University were International Relations and Programs Director Lilian J. Sison, PhD, as well as Drs. Stephanie Andres, Melvin Marcial, and Marie Stella Navarro.