06 January 2020
Welcome to 2020!
As we enter the second year of my term and I wanted the opportunity to recap on the progress that we have made and map out the goals for 2020.
Following the success of the combined Conference in November 2018 with SASMO, the Executive
decided to continue the Conference in combination with SASMO on a bi-annual basis. This means
that the next Conference will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre between the 20th and the
22nd of November 2020. You can diarize this and start planning towards it.
Since we did not have a Conference to plan for in 2019, we felt that it would be better to direct our
energies towards specific goals for the Society and create Working Parties to achieve this. We had
our first Working Party meeting on the 12th of April 2019 and following this meeting we consolidated
the various Working Parties into “Universal Health Access” Working Party, a “Cellular and Gene
Therapy” Working Party, a “Registries” Working Party and an “Allied Health Care Professionals”
The Universal Health Access Party set as goals the establishment of standards, the mapping of the
transplant process and evaluation of transplant costs and the bolstering of Academic Centers.
The Registries set as priorities, the reporting of bone marrow transplant activities, the establishment
of accredited centers and disease specific registries.
The Cell and Gene Therapies program set as targets the development of regulatory guidelines and
to include both manufacturing and ethical issues.
Allied Health Care Professionals set as targets the requirement to set up database of the various
Allied Heath Care Professionals and to continue the good work that has already been initiated in
With these in mind the Parties have been working and some have met on two other occasions to
focus these efforts. As noted previously these Working Parties are intended to be inclusive and we
encourage people who have specific interests or skills in the various areas to get involved and to do
With this in mind, our next Working Party date, tentatively is Friday the 13th of March 2020.
I think that many times these targets and goals seems massive and overwhelming. In particular,
trying to deal with the Universal Access Program. I would like to encourage each person to choose
a small project and to start working on that, for example, mapping out the course of the next five
patients that are transplanted in your center (or more), evaluating the cost of their transplants.
Evaluating the cost and success of the induction of Acute Myeloid Leukemia or Acute Lymphoblastic
Leukemia or other common diseases that are involved in the transplant of your center. Don’t forget
to include outcomes. Discuss with the various chairpersons, compare with colleagues and we will
start to develop real traction in this endeavor.
This hard data can be collated and published, it can be used to establish guidelines and standards.
In addition, it will provide posters or presentations at our Conference coming up at the end of the
Furthermore, we have a Department of Health which has recently engaged us on a number of levels
requesting input on issues around the NHI, the Presidents Health Forum, Non-Government
organizations, Private Practice etc. It would be very useful to have hard data to provide them.
Furthermore, as far as the Registries go, I understand from Prof. Estelle Verburgh that she had to
exert some pressure to get this data out of the various centers. We are all busy, but we do need to
understand the importance of reporting our transplant data. Without doing this, we will not be able
to get accreditation, we will not be able to move forward in terms of engaging the Health Regulatory
Authorities and the Medical Insurance Community to fund our work. In all accreditation processes
the reporting of the transplant activity data is the foundation of the Quality Control program and I
would urge you all to dedicate staff, time and resources to the recording and reporting on this data.
Choose a small project, something that is manageable and make it happen in 2020. We can do it.
See you, your Registrars and Allied Health Professionals in Sandton in November!