Dr Riadh Fadhil, Director of Hiba (right), with Prof Gurch Randhawa, Director of the UK Organ Donation and Transplant Research Centre.
DOHA: Qatar Centre for Organ Donation and Transplantation (Hiba) has helped reduce the number of people waiting for donors, say experts.
Hiba provide opportunities for expat patients on the waiting list to bring their related living donors to donate organs in Qatar.
It investigates potential donors before bringing related matching and medically fit living donors to donate organs to their relatives in Qatar.
“Hiba is a world leader in developing an equitable organ donation system. It investigates the related potential donor before flying him or her to Qatar. This has helped reduce the waiting list which is common for natives and expats,” says Professor Gurch Randhawa, Director of the UK Organ Donation and Transplant Research Centre.
“It is the only country in the world to offer such support to overseas living kidney donors and would certainly assist the UK transplant waiting list if we had such a system for our ethnic patients. Deceased organ allocation is also equitable regardless of nationality, ethnicity and gender,” he added.
Prof Randhawa, a leading expert in the field, recently visited Hiba to learn more about the growth of the organ donation programme over the last three years.
He has done extensive research in areas of equality in organ donation and believes that the organ donation and transplant system in Qatar is unique because it is built on the foundation of equality.
He believes that Qatar’s organ donation and transplant system should be emulated by countries around the world because of its pillars of equality and social justice.
However, he says imitating a system is not enough to succeed.
“You should never simply copy what a country does, but should rather see and understand the underlying principles and see how it fits your country,” he added.
Bestselling co-author of the book Public Issues in Organ Donation and Transplantation, Professor Randhawa will be working in collaboration with Hiba on formulating a strategy to achieve the next steps of the programme as well as training staff and sharing publications.
This year, 16,606 people were added to the organ donor registry in Qatar, a seven-fold increase on 2012. Prof Randhawa said Qatar has all successful ingredients for a strong organ donation programme.
“Qatar has well-defined laws, support from senior leadership and a good team. Although countries like the UK and the US have the oldest transplant systems in the world, Qatar has managed to create a discrimination-free system within three years, which is a remarkable feat.”
Dr Riadh Fadhil, Director of Hiba, said: “We believe in the fair treatment of society. The vision of the leaders has given us motivation and zest to move forward and build on a system that encourages people to donate organs and build trust that when they are in need, we will help them.”