Free kidney transplant for patients from abroad

Kidney patients, outside Qatar, awaiting transplants can avail Qatar’s state-of-the-art kidney transplant facilities. Qatar is set to become a hub for renal transplants with an increasing number of procedures being done here.

This year alone, nine kidney transplants were done amounting to the total of procedures done in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Making Qatar’s transplant programme available globally, Hamad Medical Corporation has a programme to sponsor a dozen transplant procedures annually from outside the country.

“Matching donor-recipient couple are given all support including travel, post operative, intra-operative and post operative care free of charge,” said Dr Yousef Al Maslamani, head of HMC Organ Transplant Committee.

“Each year we hope to have 12 procedures done given the fact that both the donor and recipient are related and their tissues match. this can help many who do not have or cannot afford the procedure in their home countries,” he said.

Last week Sudanese siblings benefited from the programme. Both the brothers, one recipient and the other donor in their 30s were brought to Qatar and the transplant was performed on Friday.

“A laproscopic surgery was performed to retrieve the kidney and the donor was discharged after 48 hours, while the recipient is healthy and recovering.”

Also last week two other transplants were done with kidney from a deceased Indian donor being transplanted to a Qatari female and a Pakistani male.

Patients can also bring their willing donor relatives from abroad. “A list of match- tests have to be done and these will be repeated at HMC to confirm. This year alone HMC had sent back some five donors due to slight mismatches, we cannot consider any transplant unless there is 100 percent match,” said Dr Riadh Fadhil, senior consultant and transplant surgeon at HMC

There has been a visible increase in the donors and donations since last year because of the organ-donation awareness campaigns and the Doha Donation Accord. As a proof to this fact, during the recently concluded Qatar Health 2010, more than 170 people came forward as willing donors.

“This is a very high number considering the population here. The number of transplant procedures done this year alone totals to the number of procedures done in the last three years take together. The transplant procedures which were crawling until now is going on at a faster pace,” he said.

Adding to the corneal and kidney transplants, liver transplants will be introduced early next year. We plan to start with taking organs from deceased donors and then shift to live donors which is much riskier than cadaver transplant,” said Dr Fadhil. Currently, more than 70 patients are waiting for a liver transplant.

“Qatar’s transplant waiting list is unique and one of its kind in the world,” said visiting-consultant Dr Adel Baker, Head of Nephrology Department,Urology and Nephrology Center,Egypt.

“There is no differentiation between citizens and expatriates, it is merely on the humanitarian basis. They merely consider donor-recipient match rather than nationality. All the other nations will either have two waiting lists or based on percentage.”

Huda NV
The Peninsula

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