9-year old girl becomes first child to receive kidney transplant in Dubai

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9-year old girl becomes first child to receive kidney transplant in Dubai

Dubai - She was born with just one kidney - a condition called renal agenesis.


Asma Ali Zain

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Published: Sun 4 Nov 2018, 10:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 7 Nov 2018, 7:44 AM

Nine-year-old Bana Nizar Hassan from Sudan has become the first child to receive a kidney transplant in Dubai.
Bana, received a kidney from a deceased adult patient from Abu Dhabi after a five-hour long surgery done in mid-October.
The surgery was performed at Al Jalila Children's Speciality Hospital by a joint medical team from Al Jalila Children's and Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU).
The team was led by MBRU's transplant surgeons Dr David Hickey, Professor of Surgery and Dr Farhad Janahi, Assistant Professor of Surgery. "Bana was on a transplant list for long since she had end stage kidney failure," Dr Janahi told Khaleej Times on Sunday.
"She was about to go on dialysis," he said.
Bana, a UAE resident, was born with just one kidney - a condition called renal agenesis, which affects around one in 1,000 children and was being treated with medication at Al Jalila Children's Hospital. She was facing eventual dialysis or transplant.
Bana was given the kidney of an adult after a complete match was done. "It was a bit of a challenge to transplant an adult's kidney in a child but we did it successfully," said Dr Janahi.
With such a transplant, the function of the new kidney is expected to last between 15 to 20 years. "She is on anti-rejection medicines now and is doing well at home," he said.
A total of nine government and health authorities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi worked together seamlessly to ensure that the kidney from a deceased donor in Abu Dhabi was transplanted within the necessary 12-hour window.
In addition to Al Jalila Children's and MBRU, Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA), the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) and its National Transplant Committee, Al Jalila Foundation, Abu Dhabi Police, Abu Dhabi Health Services Co. (SEHA), Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, and Sheikh Khalifa Medical City were involved.
The lead surgeon, Dr David Hickey, former director of the National Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Programme in Ireland, has performed over 2,000 transplants, trained transplant surgeons from around the world, and published over 130 peer reviewed scientific papers.
Dr Abdulla Al Khayat, CEO of Al Jalila Children's, said "We have just witnessed a defining moment in the history of Dubai's paediatric healthcare system and Al Jalila Children's is proud to have become a contributor to that history.
"Apart from this being an incredible medical achievement, what we've seen is exemplary cooperation between 10 different entities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi that came together in virtually no time to make this surgery possible," he said.
"This is the first of many to come and we are on track to ensuring that Dubai is the hub of paediatric healthcare in the region by contributing to UAE's 2021 vision for the health sector," he said.
"While we celebrate this milestone, we must not forget the kindness and generosity of the donor that made it possible for Bana to start life anew," he added.
Dr Amer Sharif, Vice Chancellor of MBRU and CEO of DHCA's Education Sector said, "It is testament to the efforts that have gone into the MBRU transplant programme, which was launched in 2016."
Nizar Hassan Yousif, father of young Bana said: "We have been suffering for nine years now - we knew that there was something wrong with my daughter's kidneys before she was even born."
"What we feel now is beyond words; it feels like we all have a new life to start together. It is also extremely overwhelming for us to see so many people from different entities across UAE come together to treat my baby; thank you is not enough for them," he said.
"Bana's first smile after the operation was the most precious moment in my life, and I would like to dedicate her first smile to our gracious donor and his family, God bless them all," he added.
Al Jalila Children's, a 200-bed, state-of-the-art paediatric facility opened its doors two years ago.
Dr Janahi said that the UAE had an active transplant programme with many other patients on the waiting lists. "This should also raise public awareness on the issue as we have the capability to perform such life-saving surgeries here in the country," he said.

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