The European Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation (EODD) was first held in 1996. Since then, the Council of Europe has joined forces with a different host country every year to stage the event and raise public awareness of organ donation and transplantation. This year, the EODD is coming to Switzerland, with the Bundesplatz in Bern hosting a large-scale event to celebrate the day on 9 September 2017. At the same time, Geneva will be marking the World Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation (WDODT) as part of the 2017 Organ Donation Congress, while the Swiss National Day for Organ Donation will also fall on the same date. This will be the first time that parallel events are held in one country to celebrate all three days.
With concerts, street food, information stands, political speeches and an exciting programme of supporting events, this year’s EODD on Bern’s Bundesplatz promises to be an unmissable occasion. The idea behind the day is to support a different country every year in its attempts to raise public awareness of organ donation and transplantation and promote discourse on the topics. The lack of available organs has led to a long waiting list for transplants in Switzerland and across Europe, while the demand for organs continues to increase. By providing people with all the facts, Swisstransplant is aiming to ensure that everyone pauses to think about the subject of organ donation, makes a decision about becoming a donor and informs their next of kin about their wishes. In addition, a number of hospitals and medical professionals will be lending their support to the event in an attempt to encourage more people to become donors. The EODD is also an opportunity to acknowledge organ donors and their families and recognize the efforts of all the medical professionals involved in organ donation and transplantation across Europe, whose work saves lives and improves the quality of life for so many people.