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The mission of WHO in the area of transplantation is to meet the requirement of the fifty-seventh World health Assembly resolution WHA57.18..

Objectives can be summarized as follows:

  • To work with Member states and to provide assistance at their request to ensure effective national oversight of allogeneic and xenogeneic transplantation activities. This would ensure accountability, traceability, and appropriate surveillance of adverse events (in particular transmission of infectious agents of xenogeneic origin);
  • To increase access of citizens to safe and effective transplantation of cell, tissue and organ. Additionally, to ensure ethical and technical practices of the procurement of human material for transplantation to the follow-up of recipients and live donors;
  • To promote international cooperation to encourage the global harmonization of technical and ethical practices in transplantation. This would include the prevention of the exploitation of the disadvantaged through transplant tourism and the sale of human material for transplantation.
  • To encourage donation of human material for transplantation.

The "Clinical Procedures" unit in the Department of Essential Health Technologies is responsible for promoting the appropriate effective and safe use of cell, tissue and organ transplantation. This includes the surveillance of risks particularly in xenotransplantation. This department is also responsible for ensuring efficacy, safety and equity in the provision of clinical procedures in surgery, anaesthetics, obstetrics and orthopaedics particularly at the district hospital level.


Contact information

Transplantation of human cells, tissues and organs
Service Delivery and Safety
Health Systems and Innovation
World Health Organization
Avenue Appia 20
11211 Geneva 27

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