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UAE Organ Donation and Transplantation Congress 2024 kicks off in Dubai with more than 8,000 global experts

UAE Organ Donation and Transplantation Congress 2024 kicks off in Dubai with more than 8,000 global experts
27 Jan 2024 16:50

DUBAI (WAM)


The UAE Organ Donation and Transplantation Congress 2024 commenced on Saturday in Dubai, bringing together more than 8,000 experts and specialists, both in-person and remotely. Organised by the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, and the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), the event will run from January 27-30.

Representatives from various health authorities, government entities, and the private healthcare sector are taking part in the 4-day event as well as other participants from around the world who will engage in discussions, presentations, and lectures featured throughout the conference.

During the four-day scientific sessions, speakers will delve into various aspects of organ donation and transplantation, including the role of organ donation in mitigating chronic organ failure cases, innovative strategies to address challenges, the outcomes of organ transplantation, and how they contribute to enhancing the quality of life for recipients.

The conference will also look into ways to reduce the burden of chronic diseases and discuss the importance of education and capacity-building in the fields of donation and transplantation, as well as regional and international cooperation in this domain.

Hayat Programme

The congress will shed light on the achievements of "Hayat," the National Programme for Donation and Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissue, operating under the Ministry of Health and Prevention. "Hayat" has garnered international recognition for its remarkable performance, becoming the world's best and fastest-growing programme in organ donation.

This accolade is attributed to the impressive increase in the number of donors after death per million population, with the UAE achieving a remarkable 417 percent growth over the past five years, according to the Congress of the International Society for Organ Donation and Procurement (ISODP).

Moreover, the conference will highlight the significant strides made in promoting the culture of organ donation among the citizens and residents of the UAE, recognising it as a noble humanitarian endeavour that embodies the values of sustainability and contributes significantly to realising the objectives of the Quality-of-Life Index.

"Hayat" has been remarkably successful, showcasing community solidarity and tolerance. It has played a pivotal role in giving patients in need of organ transplants renewed hope for a new life and enabling donors to exercise their right to donate and save the lives of others. Over 52 different nationalities have participated in and reaped the benefits of the programme, taking advantage of the nation's proficient healthcare system and its cutting-edge technological resources.

Raising awareness of organ donation


Abdullah Ahmed Ahli, Acting Assistant Under-Secretary for the Support Services Sector at MoHAP, emphasised that MoHAP together with other health authorities are keen to foster a culture of organ donation within the community through launching community campaigns and organising international conferences and events. “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,” Ahli added.

He highlighted that organ transplantation not only offers a path to full recovery but also significantly improves the quality of life for recipients.

Advanced infrastructure and capabilities


Dr. Rashed Al Suwaidi, Executive Director of the Healthcare Workforce Planning Sector at DoH, said, “Abu Dhabi is consistently strengthening its capabilities in organ donation and transplantation through collaborative efforts with partners across the Emirates, operating within the framework of the National Programme for Organ Donation and Transplantation ’Hayat’.

"This initiative aims to safeguard the health and well-being of communities, cementing Abu Dhabi's position as a leading global healthcare destination. We also recognise the significance of unifying our efforts to advance the field of organ and tissue donation and transplantation.

"This necessitates international collaboration to broaden networks and databases of both organ donors and recipients, along with the sharing of knowledge and expertise among medical professionals. We eagerly anticipate that this crucial event will contribute significantly to realising these objectives.”

Latest medical equipment in the world


Dr. Marwan Al Mulla, CEO of the Health Regulation Sector at DHA, stated that the United Arab Emirates has succeeded in establishing its own approach to organ and tissue donation and transplantation. This has been achieved through a comprehensive set of legislations, regulations, and organised procedures, as well as the national "Hayat" programme, which supports the concept of organ donation and is aligned with the value system of UAE society.

Additionally, the available state-of-the-art medical facilities, exceptional healthcare environment, and other factors contribute to the success and distinction of the UAE in this vital health field.

Significant Impact

Dr. Ali Abdulkarim Al Obaidli, Chairman of the National Committee for Organ Transplantation, highlighted that the congress has successfully attracted an elite group of global experts and specialists, reinforcing the UAE's standing and remarkable achievements in organ transplantation. He emphasised the importance of international cooperation, as the integration of organ donation and transplantation services aligns with WHO principles on regional integration.

The conference not only provides a platform for various local and international hospitals to share their experiences but also promotes community engagement in organ donation. It aims to uphold the highest quality standards in the field and recognise the exceptional contributions of hospitals, medical centres, and relevant organisations at local, regional, and international levels to advance both living and deceased organ transplantation.

Many organ transplants, specifically 62 percent, take place in high-income countries, while 28 percent occur in middle-income countries. Unfortunately, low-income countries lag, accounting for less than 1 percent of organ transplants.

Moreover, it should be noted that the number of available organ donors worldwide falls significantly short of the global demand, estimated to be less than 10 percent.

Kidney transplantation is not only preferable for patients but also more cost-effective for health systems compared to dialysis. Despite this, there is a vast gap between the number of kidney transplants performed annually (around 100,000) and the number of patients undergoing dialysis, which exceeds 5 million each year.

The conference zeroes in on various challenges and opportunities associated with organ donation, both from living donors and posthumous donations. Key topics include strategies to boost donation rates and the legal and ethical aspects involved. It also emphasises the importance of collaboration between healthcare professionals, government entities, and community organisations in this field.

Additionally, the event will review experiences of certain countries and delve into the latest technological developments in organ donation and transplantation and will feature discussions on cutting-edge innovations like perfusion machines, organ recipient identification systems, and various aspects of care after a transplant.

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