How to sign up as an organ donor as UAE attempts world record for a cause

All residents aged 18 and above can register for the ‘Hayat' programme to express their willingness to donate organs after their passing

by

Angel Tesorero

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Published: Tue 30 Jan 2024, 9:58 PM

Last updated: Tue 30 Jan 2024, 10:21 PM

The UAE is actively promoting the culture of organ donation not only to save lives of patients with organ failure, but also to reinforce the spirit of solidarity and compassion within the community.

With this goal, the National Programme for Donation and Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues or ‘Hayat’ is organising the largest participation of diverse nationalities in an organ donation awareness drive on Wednesday at Mohammed Bin Rashid University (MBRU) of Medicine and Health Sciences.

There is also a world record attempt for the highest number of online registrations for organ donors within a one-hour time frame taking place the same day from 2pm to 3pm, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) announced at the ongoing Arab Health 2024 at Dubai World Trade Centre.

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MoHAP said donors and recipients from 52 different nationalities have contributed to and benefited from Hayat. It is also currently the world’s fastest-growing organ donation drive, “achieving a remarkable 41.7 per cent growth over the last five years" according to International Society for Organ Donation and Procurement (ISODP), MoHAP noted.

Hayat chairman Dr Ali Abdulkarim Al Obaidli said: “The programme stands as a pivotal milestone in the UAE's pursuit of healthcare excellence. Organ donation does not only bring renewed hope to patients and their families but also contributes to the overall health, safety, and quality of life in the community."

Hayat in numbers

MoHAP noted “organ transplantation stands as a permanent and effective solution for many patients.”

All UAE residents aged 18 and above can register for the ‘Hayat" programme to express their willingness to donate organs after their passing.

KT Photo: Angel Tesorero
KT Photo: Angel Tesorero

As of Tuesday, 21,158 UAE residents of various nationalities have registered in Hayat. The UAE has conducted more than 460 transplants since 2017, with 111 operations done in 2023 alone.

There are, however, more than 4,000 patients waiting for donors.

Sustainable health care

Speaking to Khaleej Times at Arab Health, Dr Fatma Kilic, a public health consultant based in Doha, said encouraging residents to volunteer in organ donation is both sustainable and economical.

KT Photo: Angel Tesorero
KT Photo: Angel Tesorero

“It is not always feasible to get organs from outside the country and it is financially draining to always send patients out of the country for organ transplant. A country should have a sustainable health care system. The technology for organ transplant is already there, and the UAE is addressing the issue of availability of needed organs by encouraging people to consider taking part in the programme,” she noted.

Dr Kilic noted Hayat is one of the innovative reforms in the health care system that is actively promoted across the GCC region.

Heroic act

Meanwhile, Abdullah Ahmed Ahli, MoHAP acting assistant under-secretary for Support Services Sector, earlier said: “We will spare no effort to develop sustainable solutions for patients suffering from various critical conditions like cancer, heart disease, pulmonary failure, cirrhosis, and kidney failure.”

“Organ transplantation not only offers a path to full recovery but also significantly improves the quality of life for recipients. Hayat is a humanitarian initiative designed to encourage organ donation. It's a heroic act that embodies the essence of humanity, offering individuals a fresh chance at life while reinforcing the established culture of organ donation within society."

Residents who want to join Hayat can visit the MoHAP website to register.

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