By Fazeena Saleem
DOHA: Qatar Organ Donation Centre (Hiba) is urging the public to register as organ donors as part of its campaign to spread awareness about the cause in Ramadan.
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) provides programmes in kidney and liver transplants and for many people a transplant can mean the gift of life, say health experts.
The need for organ donors remains high although the number entered the donation registry has increased over the past few years, says Dr Yousuf Al Maslamani, Chief of Medical Staff, Hamad General Hospital.
The campaign is being held at City Centre to educate people on organ donation and how to register. Volunteers also talking about transplants and answering questions.
Dr Al Maslamani says if more donors are available, then patients will not have to go for unsafe commercial transplants in other countries. “We want to stop people from going to other countries for commercial transplants, which are not safe, as there is a high possibility of complications after transplants,” he said.
The Doha Donation Accord, which outlines how donors and recipients should be treated in Qatar, is built upon the model of equality and fairness and ensures that organs are distributed equitably among all nationalities.
Through the accord donors and their families get benefits, including an honour by the highest authorities in Qatar, living donors get medical insurance for life, and compensation for any health problems.
There are two types of organ donors — deceased and living.
Living donors can provide a kidney or a portion of the liver, lung or intestine, and in some instances, tissues. Six types of organs could be used from deceased donors — kidney, pancreas, liver, lungs, heart, and intestines. Tissues such as bones, skin, heart valves and veins and corneas can also be taken from the deceased.
Only kidney and liver transplants are done in Qatar and arrangements are being made to introduce pancreas and transplant of livers from living donors, says Dr Al Maslamani.
Eighty people awaiting kidney transplants and half of them are Qataris, according to Hiba. Another 10 are on the waiting list for liver transplants.
The number of kidney and liver transplants in 2014 (January to June) has doubled compared to 2013. By end of an awareness campaign in 2013, the number of registered donors reached 16,606. The campaign in 2012 received 2,500 donors.
All people who have signed the registry have signed as diseased donors. They are from 88 nationalities, aged between 18 and 89 years. The Peninsula