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Dr Jorge Guzman, CEO of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, seen here at the booth, was the the first to sign up as an organ and tissue donor Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has set up a booth to help patients and visitors learn about Hayat, the UAE’s national programme for organ donation and transplantation.

The Department of Health Abu Dhabi (DoH) last year launched the ‘Abu Dhabi Community Campaign’ to encourage residents to register as donors. The Hayat booth at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi will support this initiative.

Dr Jorge Guzman, CEO at the hospital, inaugurated the booth. He was also the first to sign up and register as an organ and tissue donor to encourage caregivers to sign up as donors.

The DoH launched the Abu Dhabi Community Campaign during the International Conference for Initiatives on Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation in November 2022. The Campaign seeks to encourage community members to register for organ and tissue donation, as well as enhance the quality of life of patients with organ failure.

Dr Ali Al Obaidli, chairman of the UAE National Programme, said: “The UAE National Programme of Organ Donation and Transplantation has seen growth in donations from post-mortem donors, which has led to impressive results in transplants of the heart, lungs, liver, pancreas and kidneys. It is throughpartnerships with leading health care institutions such as Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, that we are able to further drive this initiative and succeed in our endeavour of creating awareness around the importance of organ and tissue donations and the life-changing opportunities they afford to patients requiring transplants.

“We encourage anyone over 21 years of age to register and become part of this noble and humanitarian act as donors provide recipients another chance at life, when alive or even after death.”

As a multi-organ transplant Centre, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has been an instrumental partner of the DoH, leading surgeries performed by experienced multidisciplinary specialists.

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“The importance of organ donation cannot be emphasised enough and all of us have a role to play in this life-changing opportunity. We are proud to partner with the DoH and drive the larger UAE vision of promoting the initiative of organ donation. Only through collective partnerships between the health care entities are we able to achieve the aim of saving the life of every patient who needs a transplant and reaffirm the UAE’s position as a leading destination for health care,” Dr Guzman said.

Aligned with the Cleveland Clinic Transplant Center in the United States, which has one of the most comprehensive transplant programmes in the world, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has performed more than 330 “life-changing” organ transplant surgeries, since the deceased donor programme became active in the UAE in 2017. The programme has seen 124 deceased donors in the UAE, whose organs have saved the lives of more than 438 patients and has grown exponentially over the years.

Through its transplant Centre, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, has conducted 166 kidney transplants, 136 liver transplants, 12 lung transplants, 12 heart transplants, and 10 pancreas transplants.

Dr Bashir Sankari, chair of the Surgical Subspecialties Institute and head of the Transplant Programme at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, said: “We have a multi-organ transplant program in the UAE undertaking heart, single and double lung, liver, and pancreatic transplants. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has achieved numerous milestones since the launch of its transplant program in 2017, including performing the UAE’s first successful heart, lung and liver transplant, the UAE’s first combined kidney-pancreas and combined kidney-liver transplants.

Even after death, one person has the power to alter the course of eight different lives and we need to share this message with more people.”