President’s Report 2017-2018

Dear Members,

This is my great pleasure and honor to have served the society as President last year. Thank you for your support and active participation in the various events. I am also grateful for the support and advice from our Past Presidents and all Council Members.

Let me recount the landmark activities of last year:


Academic Activities

Annual Scientific Meeting 2017: The meeting was held on 30 April 2017 at Island Shangri-La Hotel. The theme of the meeting was ”Pushing the Limit and Expanding the Donor Pool for Organ Transplantation”. We had two overseas speakers: Prof SP Berger from Netherland and Prof Y Ogura from Japan. Prof Berger shared with us his experience of transplantation in elderly and the strategy to promote live donor kidney transplantation at Netherland. Prof Ogura discussed on the transplantation in pediatric recipients and strategy to tackle the problem of preformed donor specific antibody. The local speakers were: Dr WM Lai, Dr Simon Sin, Dr WM Chan, Dr F Yap, Miss Jenny Koo and Dr WL Chak. They talked on different topics including transplantation in pediatric patients, use of ECMO in transplantation and cardiac death donor and strategy to expand the donor pool. The meeting was well attended by 148 members.


Kidney Transplant Asian Summit 2017: This summit was held on 18-19 November 2017 at Hotel Icon. It provided a platform for medical experts from Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong to share their knowledge on the latest development and experience on kidney transplantation in Asia. The topics for discussion included: 1) Post -transplant Malignancy, 2) BKV infection and Post- transplant IFTA management. There were a total of 72 participants. The HK Medical Expert Panel included: Dr KM Chow, Dr Thomas Chan, Dr CY Cheung, Dr Roger Ngan, Prof Fernald, Dr Maggie Ma and Dr A Cheuk. 


Scientific Symposium: We co-organized a scientific symposium with the Hong Kong Society of Nephrology on 8 Jan 2018 at Hotel Excelsior. Our guest speaker was Prof Dirk Kuypers from University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium. He was the chair of the International Society of Nephrology-The Transplantation Society (ISN-TTS) Transplant Center Sister Program. The topic of the symposium was “Practical Recommendations for Long Term Management of Modifiable Risks in Kidney and Liver Transplant Recipients”. The symposium was well attended by 56 members.


Liver Transplantation Scientific Symposium: HKST organized the symposium on 9 March 2018 at Hotel Excelsior. Our renowned speaker was Prof Gary Levy from University of Toronto. He shared his experiences on the following topics: 1) Experience sharing on Living Liver Donor Program at Toronto General Hospital, Canada and 2) Immunosuppression Strategies for Deceased and Living Donor Liver Transplant Recipients : A Hepatocellular Carcinoma Recurrence Perspective. The total number of participants was 32 including liver transplant surgeons, nephrologists, pathologists and organ donation coordinators.


Consultative Meeting of Food and Health Bureau 

In 2017, there was a thorough discussion among the community on the legal age of living donor and the organ donation policy. As a result, Food and health Bureau invited all the stakeholders to attend a    Consultative Meeting. As president of HKST, I had attended the meeting on 14 June 2017. 3 issues had been discussed:

  • Legal age for live donation: The participants generally agreed to keep the age limit of 18 years. There was no consensus whether conditional exemption should be established.
  • Opt-in/opt-out system: The participants generally agreed that it might not be an appropriate time to run opt-out system.
  • Paired organ donation exchange: The participants generally supported the Paired Exchange Program. However, there was some concern that the program may violate the current Human Organ Transplant Ordinance.  


Our society held an open forum on 16 June 2017. The above three issues were discussed and we then proceeded to run an on-line survey and collect opinions from our members. The results of the survey had been published in our latest newsletter.


Collaborative Work with other Academic Organizations


Chinese Medical Association co-organized the symposium “ 19th Beijing Hong Kong Medical Exchange” with Hong Kong Medical Association at Wuhan, China on 13 Sept 2017. HKST was invited to be the supporting organization of the symposium and the theme was “Frontiers in Nephropathies and Transplantation”. I was invited to be the chairperson of one scientific meeting and gave another talk on “ Organ Donation Campaign in HK, what have we done “. Our council member, Dr CY Cheung, was also invited to present his experience on “Post-transplant Malignancies”..


To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Declaration of Istanbul (DoI), a working group of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG) had prepared a draft update to the Declaration. The revisions made in this 2018 Edition are intended to ensure that the DoI remains a valuable source of ethical guidance for health professionals and policy makers during the next decade in the face of persisting and emerging challenges in organ trafficking and transplant tourism around the world. As HKST is one of the official endorsed organization of the Declaration of Istanbul, our members were invited to participate in the survey and give feedback to update the document. The final version will be presented in July 2018 at a special workshop during the Congress of The Transplantation Society.


HKST was invited to be the supporting organization of the 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting of Hong Kong Society of Critical Care Medicine. The meeting was held on 26 November 2017. Dr SH Chok, our Hon Treasurer, was invited to be their speaker and talked on the topic of “Complications Post Liver transplantation”.


HKST also supported Hong Kong Pediatric Nephrology Society to bid for the 14th Asian Congress of Pediatric Nephrology.


The Spanish Transplant Procurement Management Team came to HK as trainer for the training course held by Hospital Authority. Our council had a round table discussion with them on 15 Aug 2017 and we discussed about the strategies to improve organ donation in HK. Dr WL Cheung, Director (Cluster Services) from Hospital Authority also joined our discussion.


Organ Donation Promotion Activities


Endless Love-Healing Act Program大愛恩人:  This program is run by Kidney Foundation and the aim is to honor the deceased organ donors and promote organ donation. I was invited to join the Program Committee as representative of HKST. Deceased organ donor would be honored with an individual plaque on Memorial Wall at the Garden of Remembrance, Tseung Kwan O Chinese Permanent Cemetery with his/her ash to be scatted at the Garden of Remembrance. A launching ceremony was held on 17 June 2017. Dr WM Ko, Secretary for Food and Health, and Dr WL Cheung, Director(Cluster Services) of HAHO were the officiating guests of the ceremony. The Program had been started from 1 July 2017 and there were 7 applications approved up to this moment. The Autumn Ancestral Worship had been held on 2 December 2017. Two donor families joined the worship.


HKMA Youth Forum : This forum was held on 21 October 2017 at HKMA Central Premises. I was invited to attend the forum. Other officiating guests were: Dr TY Chui (Under Secretary for Food and Health), Dr Beatrice Cheng (Advisor, Hospital Transplant Services) and Dr Pierre Chan (Legislative Councillor). The forum focused on discussion of the ethical issues, current situation and future of organ donation in HK. Medical students and young doctors attended the symposium. We had a fruitful discussion and our young generation was interested in organ donation and they were keen to promote it.   


HK Organ Donation Day: The second HK Organ Donation Day was held on 11 November 2017. Organ donation promotion booths had been set up in 18 MTR stations. The event also celebrated the 9th Anniversary of the launching of Centralized Organ Donation Register. The theme was “ Organ Donation- Let’s talk”. Representatives of six religious groups attended the ceremony and showed their support to organ donation. Professor Alvin Young, Dr KF Chau, Dr Cindy Choy and I attended the ceremony at HK MTR station.


Donor Family Day: The purpose of this annual event was to show our appreciation to all the organ donor families. The event was held on 26 November 2017 at Pak Tam Chung Holiday Camp. We had games, cooking competition and BBQ. There were a total of 298 participants including donor family , medical professionals and volunteers. Prof Sophia Chan, Secretary for Food and Health, was our officiating guest and she acted as our judge for the cooking competition.


Organ Donation Stage Performance at “HK Brands and Products Expo 2017 “: The stage performance was organized by Rotary International District 3450 as a support to Department of Health’s organ registration drive. HKST was invited to be one of the supporting organizations. The event was performed on 28 Dec 2017. Dr TY Tsui, Under Secretary for Food and Health, was the guest of honor of the event. Dr WM Ko and singer Albert Au attended the stage as well and promoted organ donation to the public by singing.


Spring Sower Organ Donation Promotion Walk春耕行動: HKST was invited to be the co-organizer of this event with Hong Kong Medical Association. Press conference had been held on 30 Dec 2017 with broad media coverage. Every participant will encourage five of his friends or family members to register as organ donor at Centralized Organ Donation Register. The event was held on 7 Jan 2018 at Mui Wo and the number of participants was around 120. The officiating guests were Prof Sophia Chan (Secretary for Food and Health), Dr KH Wong (Controller, Center for Health Protection) and Dr Pierre Chan ( Legislative Councillor). Dr KF Chau, Dr Janette Kwok, Dr WL Chak and I represented HKST and joined the walk. 


Thanksgiving Ceremony: This annual event was held on 25 March 2018 at HAHO Lecture theatre. Our theme this year was 捐贈恩情 永鎖心田. It provided a platform for all organ transplant recipients of the preceding year (2017) to show their gratitude to the donor families. Professor Sophia Chan, Secretary for Food and Health and Dr PY Leung, HA Chief Executive were our officiating guests. Four organ transplant recipients shared their moving stories. KID Friend’s Choir from PMH Pediatric Unit joined our event as well and they had a fantastic performance. The ceremony was well attended by around 250 people.  


Organ Donation Promotion Working Group: HKST was one of members of the working group of Department of Health. Prof Philip Li, Dr KF Chau and I were representatives of HKST. The working group had regular meetings to discuss on the strategies to promote organ donation in HK.


Patient Related Activities


World transplant Game 2017: It was held from 25 June to 2 July 2017 at Malaga, Spain. Hong Kong Transplant Sports Association formed a team consisted of 17 organ transplant recipients and one organ donor. Kick off ceremony was held on 11 June 2017. HKST fully supported the team of HK. Dr KF Chau and Dr Kelvin Ho from our council formed a medical support team for our athletes. We had a great achievement by winning 7 Gold, 2 Silver and 5 Bronze medals. 


Table tennis Competition: A table tennis competition was organized by Hong Kong Transplant Sports Association on 3 September 2017. Dr KF Chau and Dr Stanley Lo formed HKST team and joined the competition.


“Fit for Life: Billion Steps Challenge “: This world-wide event was organized by World Transplant Games Federation and the aim was to bring transplant community together in union to do something for themselves: improve their health and fitness. All transplant recipients were serious about their health and the precious gift they had been given. All transplant recipients and health professions were invited to form their own teams and exercise by walking in their daily lives. Our council members also formed teams to join the challenge. Hong Kong had excellent achievement. Out of the 241 teams over the world, nearly one third of them came from HK. A renal transplant recipient from HK won the Global Individual Championship.. A celebration ceremony was held on 4 Dec 2017.


Public Education  


“Survey on Drug Compliance of Organ Transplant Patients”: This was the first-of its–kind survey among Chinese community jointly commissioned by Hong Kong Society of Transplantation, Hong Kong Transplant Sports Association and Hong Kong Liver Transplant Patients’ Association. A press conference was held on 31 July 2017 at Kowloon Shangri La Hotel. The media coverage was satisfactory with 9 hard copies, 14 on-line news and 1 radio broadcast. The importance of drug compliance was reinforced to the public and our transplant recipients.


Promotion of Organ Donation via mass media: HKST cooperated with Oriental Publications Limited and our members will write articles related with organ donation and transplantation. The articles will be published bi-weekly on Oriental Daily News from 6 March to 21 Aug 2018. We are grateful to our coordinator Dr CY Cheung. The authors are: Dr William Lee, Dr Cindy Choy, Dr CF Kan, Dr Maggie Ma, Dr Stanley Lo, Miss Catherine Wong, Miss Jenny Koo, Dr SH Chok, Miss ML Pong, Dr CF Wong, Miss YF Tong, Dr Katherine Fan and Dr Joycelyn Sim.


May I take this opportunity to thank all Council Members and our Past Presidents for their unflagging support and hard work in making such a successful year for our society.


William Lee


Hong Kong Society of Transplantation