Tissue Bank Training Hits the Internet
E Learning Offers Savings and Chance For More to Learn
Doctors and tissue bank professionals have a chance to develop their skills as the IAEA´s Tissue Bank programme hits the Internet. Yet it´s the patients, including burn victims, who stand among those most to benefit from new online training programmes that aim to raise the skills and knowledge of more health professionals.
The Internet training courses − to be offered in English and Spanish languages − − are planned to start in 2003 under new agreements, thereby reaching more Tissue Bank operators, doctors, managers and transplant coordinators. The move is expected to save several hundred thousand dollars, as previously all training was face-to-face.
The opportunity to learn new grafting techniques and best methods of care for patients needing skin grafts, transplants, or reconstruction surgery, is all part of the online curriculum developed by the IAEA. The Internet-based training course is the first of its kind offering a University Diploma.
An international training centre in Singapore will be created as part of a newly signed agreement between the Agency and the National University of Singapore. The centre will become the base for the distance learning programmes conducted in English.
The online programs in tissue banking will also be run in Spanish, with a regional training center to be established in Buenos Aires, covering the Latin America region. It comes as a result of the agreement reached between the IAEA and the National Atomic Energy Commission of Argentina and the University of Buenos Aires.
In January this year the IAEA signed, with the Transplant Procurement Management (TPM) and the University of Barcelona in Spain, an agreement to carry out a joint training programme in different topics within the field of tissue banking. The first course will be held in February 2003 for Latin America transplant coordinators using their facilities. TPM is the largest training programme in Spain in the field of tissue banking.
In another development to the IAEA´s 20-year programme to bring tissue banking technology to developing counties, orthopedic surgeons and transplant coordinators now have the opportunity to be trained using the facilities and hospitals associated with the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) in the USA. The MTF is the largest Tissue Bank in America. It is open to all Member States participating in the Agency´s radiation and tissue banking programme.
Through its programme, the IAEA has developed a system − used throughout the world − that uses ionizing radiation to disinfects tissue grafts without damaging them, dramatically lowering the risk of contamination.
Since the Agency´s support for tissue banking began, the IAEA has helped establish more than 70 tissue banks in the Asia Pacific, Latin American, and African regions.