Dubai: The fifth Organ Transplantation Centre in the UAE will be opened at the Al Qassimi Hospital, Sharjah, with the first kidney transplant likely to take place in a fortnight.
Providing details, Dr Suad Al Sajwani, head of the nephrology department at Al Qassimi Hospital, told Gulf News: “Qassimi Hospital is the largest tertiary hospital in the northern emirates and we cater to a large section of the country. We are trying to follow the letter and spirit of Law No (5) of 2016, which allows transplantation of human organs and tissues, both from living donors and cadavers and have received accreditation as a transplant centre in the northern emirates. This is the fifth centre in the country and the first organised under the aegis of the Ministry of Health and Prevention.”
Since UAE passed the human organ and tissue transplant law and allowed cadaver transplants from 2016, organ donations from 20 deceased donors have saved 55 lives in the UAE and 74 across the Middle East.
Highest in demand
Since kidney is the organ which is highest in demand owing to high rates of chronic kidney disease, Dr Sajwani said Qassimi Hospital had entered into an affiliation with the Mohammad Bin Rashid University (MBRU) at the Dubai Health Care City to begin with kidney transplants.
“Currently there are about 200 people undergoing dialysis. They are all suffering from end stage kidney failure and are on the waiting list for a transplant. So we will begin our organ transplant programme with kidney transplants,” said Dr Sajwani.
Dr Sajwani added that the hospital had put together a strong transplant team and pre- and post-operative protocols for the process. “We have good transplant surgeons, nephrologists, urologists, nurse technicians and transplant coordinators in place,” he noted.
Dr Kalthoum Al Baloushi, Director of MOHAP’s Hospital Administration, said, “The Health Ministry has trained nearly 180 professionals from various medical facilities in the country and this new centre will only strengthen the organ donation programme.”
So far organ transplant procedures take place at Shaikh Khalifa Medical City, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Mediclinic City Hosptial, Dubai Health Care City and Al Jalila Children’s Speciality Hospital, Dubai.
Al Qassimi will be the fifth addition to the National Organ Transplant Programme.
Abdul Rahman Bin Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), stressed that the UAE and Saudi Arabia are the only two countries in the region that provide organ transplant services.
Dr Mohammad Salim Al Olama, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health and Prevention, stressed the importance of the centre, being the ministry’s first of its kind in the UAE.
The centre was inaugurated in partnership with the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, MBRU, in cooperation with National Program for Organ Transplantation. It is one of tangible results of the program launched in 2018 to regulate transplantation operations, preserve and develop human organs and tissues.
“The inauguration of the centre is yet another milestone in the country’s journey towards excellence and leadership. We are blessed to have what it takes to be a leader in this field including qualified medical cadres, cutting-edge health facilities and partnerships with prestigious international institutions among others,” said Al Olama.