Dubai: Deceased donors aged from one week to 77 years have saved 500 lives through cadaveric organ donation in the UAE, officials announced during the first day of Arab Health Conference and Exhibition in Dubai on Monday.
The UAE first enacted its deceased donor transplantation law in 2017. Since then, around 500 people’s lives have been saved through organ transplants, said Dr Ali Al Obaidli, head of the National Transplantation and Organ Donation Committee.
He said the cumulative figure included lives saved through 204 organ transplants from 55 donors in 2022.
The UAE's organ transplant programme has so far resulted in 460 transplants, facilitating many multiorgan retrieval and transplant.
“The youngest donor was one-week old-and the oldest donor was 77 years-old,” he said during a press conference at Arab Health .
Dr Al Obaidli said regular updates in guidelines and training have equipped healthcare professionals working in the field of organ transplant.
Campaigns to increase organ donation
Officials said efforts have been on to increase awareness about organ donation and through “Hayat”, the National Programme for Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation.
“Hayat” is a national system to enhance efforts for the donation and transplantation of human organs and tissues in accordance with the highest international standards and practices in the UAE and the region.
Campaigns have been launched to increase familiarity with the organ donation registry app, the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention’s ‘Hayat’ app.
A campaign that started to register potential donors in the Hayat programme has received 11,000 registrations so far, said Dr Al Obaidli.
“This number is growing and we know that so many people of different nationalities living in the UAE are willing to donate their organs.”
A survey has showed that 68 per cent of the UAE residents are supportive of organ transplant.
Dr Rashed Obaid Al Suwaidi, executive director of Healthcare Workforce Planning Sector at the Department of Health (DoH) in Abu Dhabi said DoH has entered into a partnership with Pure Health for enhancing the operations for organ donations in the emirate.
Dr Marwan Al Kaabi, chief critical resources officer at Pure Health, said the company would help streamline the operational and logistical aspects of organ donations and would also work with patients’ families and community organisations to raise more awareness about and increase participation in organ donation.
Ahmed Ali Al Dashti, assistant undersecretary for the Support Services Sector at the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) emphasised that the UAE health authorities are committed to raising public awareness of organ donation as a means of providing sustainable solutions for patients with various health conditions, particularly chronic kidney disease, heart disease, pulmonary failure, and liver failure. Al Dashti went on to say that organ transplantation can help such patients recover completely.
He stated that the UAE organ donation and transplantation programmeme increased 41 per cent in 2022 as against 2021.
“This outstanding achievement is thanks to the organ donation system structure stablished across UAE and the health authorities’ commitment in raising awareness about the importance of organ donation as a selfless and heroic act,” he added.
According to experts, one organ donor can save the lives of eight individuals in urgent need of organs.
Public and organisations in the UAE have been invited to support saving lives by organ donation. They can visit MOHAP HAYAT booth at Arab Health 2023, register as an organ donor and save many lives.