DUBAI — Another patient will undergo a kidney transplant surgery at Shaikh Zayed Military Hospital in Abu Dhabi on October 12, following the success of a similar operation on October 1.
Dr Mustafa Ahmed Al Kazim, Nephrology Specialist at Welcare Hospital Dubai, who was part of the team that operated on a 53-year-old Sudanese patient who had received a kidney from his wife, said that successful kidney transplants are possible in the UAE now.
He said the Pakistani patient would receive a kidney from his wife on October 12.
The doctor said the renal and liver transplant programme started in the UAE has a success rate of 96 per cent. “According to our study, at least 40 per cent of the patients suffering from renal diseases in the UAE require a kidney transplant to survive,” said Dr Mustafa, adding the myth surrounding transplant procedures in the UAE needed to be broken.
“We are following the largest transplant programme in the AGCC which is based on the European standards,” he said.
The team of doctors in the programme comprises experts from the UAE, South Africa and Germany.
Dr Mustafa said people also need to know that they will be saving lots of money by opting for transplants in the UAE instead of going abroad.
“On an average, a person spends Dh140,000 on dialysis in a year while the total cost of a transplant would be Dh120,000,” he said, adding that after the operation, the patient would have a better quality of life.
The expert also pointed out that many countries have banned buying of kidneys. “It is already banned in the US and the UK while India banned it recently with Pakistan following suit. Buying of kidneys is not a medically regulated procedure in the Far East, especially the Philippines. Therefore it is illegal,” Dr Mustafa said.
Besides being illegal, there is no guarantee that the “bought” kidneys are healthy enough for transplants. “Four patients from the UAE had travelled to the Philippines for kidney transplants recently and all of them now suffer from different diseases including severe rejection, TB and renal swellings,” he said.
The UAE is planning to promote “transplant tourism” in the future, he said. “At present, kidneys are taken only from live donors such as wives and siblings. This is an ethical practice and we encourage it,” said Dr Mustafa.