Dr Sandeep Attawar with John Sunil. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi is set to get its second multi-organ transplant centre at the Burjeel Medical City, the hospital announced on Tuesday.

The hospital, a 400-bed facility based in Mohamed Bin Zayed City and owned by UAE-based health provider, VPS Healthcare, has signed an agreement to set up the new centre with the KIMS Institute for Heart and Lung Transplantation at the KIMS Hospital in Hyderabad, India.

Dr Sandeep Attawar, chair and director of the KIMS Institute, will lead the team of medics as the new facility is launched. While Burjeel Medical City will ensure the provision of advanced technology and equipment at the new centre, experts from the KIMS Hospital will share their medical expertise and knowledge.

The facility will provide heart and liver transplants, and according to a statement issued by the hospital, it will soon undertake “high-risk surgeries and invasive management of structural heart diseases”. There will also be a focus on managing cases of paediatric heart failure.

Double lung transplants

Dr Attawar and his team, who will contribute their expertise, have already performed almost 280 thoracic organ transplants, including 160 double lung transplants, 88 heart transplants, and 32 combined heart and lung transplants. The team has also performed around 12 double lung transplants on patients with end-stage COVID-19-damaged lungs, which is arguably the highest number of successful double lung transplants for this emerging disease in Asia, the hospital statement said.

“The partnership between Burjeel and KIMS Hospitals will bring in a transformational change and equip us to provide relief to patients waiting for an organ transplant in the UAE. In the initial phase, we will be concentrating on setting up the infrastructure for heart and lung transplants. Soon, we will strengthen our organ transplant centre and open directly to patients in need. We aim to provide the most advanced care for patients in the UAE and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries. We hope this collaboration between the entities would help us in serving the purpose,” said John Sunil, chief executive officer at Burjeel Hospitals.

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“We are proud to collaborate with Burjeel Medical City ... and will be supporting Burjeel Medical City by extending our expertise in multi-organ transplants. We firmly believe and look forward to serving the patients in the UAE through this partnership and translate this opportunity for the overall benefit of the health sector in the Middle East,” Dr Attawar said.

Abu Dhabi’s first multi-organ transplant centre opened in 2017 at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. The emirate’s first transplant centre, however, is the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, a public hospital that has facilitated and performed kidney transplants since the late-2000s.