Positive response to organ donation in UAE

Positive response to organ donation in UAE
Dr Ali AbdulKareem Al Obaidli, chairman, National Transplant Committee speaking at the workshop. - Photo by Ryan Lim

Dubai - By maximising the importance of organ donation and organ failure prevention, the UAE is serving as many people as possible.

By Jasmine Al Kuttab

Published: Tue 5 Jun 2018, 11:36 PM

Last updated: Wed 6 Jun 2018, 2:33 PM

Organ donations in the UAE are on the rise, a top official at the National Organ Transplant Committee told Khaleej Times, on the sidelines of a workshop held in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday

Around 1300 university students, military personnel, men from the UAE National Service, as well as health professionals, came together on Tuesday to participate in the largest organ donation workshop in the country.
"Organ donation is more than just a medical procedure, it has charity and humanitarian dimensions and requires community engagement to fulfill its role," Dr Ali Abdul Kareem Al Obaidli, chair of the National Organ Transplant Committee, told Khaleej Times.
The broader message is that prevention is always better than cure. "By us talking about risk factors that lead to organ failure, we can raise awareness to take enough prevention measures, so that we limit the number of transplantations needed."
Dr Al Obaidli stressed that by maximising the importance of organ donation and prevention of organ failure, the UAE is serving as many people as possible.
> 2016 - Organ donation and transplantation come into force in UAE
> 68% Public supportive of organ donation in the UAE
> 126,670 - Solid organs reported to be transplanted in 2015 (worldwide)
> Over 50% donors are over age 60
(Source: Dr Faisal Shaheen, consultant, Internal Medicine and Renal Disease, director general of the Saudi Organ Transplant Center; Dr Maria Gomez, executive director, Do-nation and Transplantation Institute)
However, Dr Al Obaidli stressed that not everyone can be a donor. Less than one per cent of people die are in circumstances that allows them to donate, so organ donation is a rare opportunity. "Even if 1,000 people sign up to be potential donors, maybe only 5 to 10 out of will be given the opportunity."
In terms of living related donor kidney transplantations, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) has conducted more than 240 donations between adults and children.
"There are also other hospitals providing this service, including Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Al Jalila Hospital and Mediclinic," he added.
For diseased organ donation, he said: "We are at the start of the programme but we have had six donors who have donated to 19 individuals."

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