KTS thanks doctors, donors, believers in organ donation

KUWAIT: Health Ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Medical Services Affairs Fatema Al-Najjar speaks during the reception. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

KUWAIT: Kuwait Transplant Society (KTS) hosted a dinner reception to honor and thank donors and people supporting KTS causes. KTS believes that by donating organs, people can save more lives. “Kuwait is a leader in kidney transplants in GCC countries with 80 to 100 operations taking place annually. The first kidney transplant in Kuwait took place in February 1979,” said the Health Ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Medical Services Affairs Fatema Al-Najjar, who was speaking at the event on behalf of Health Minister Sheikh Dr Bassel Al-Sabah.

Around 400 people suffer kidney failure every year due to diabetes and blood pressure, and half of them become eligible for kidney transplants, Najjar said. “Despite accessibility to medical facilities in Kuwait, the number of kidney donors is low, which remains a major obstacle not only in Kuwait, but most countries of the world, especially in the Middle East and Asia. Patients are sometimes forced to wait for long periods of time or even travel abroad to buy kidneys and undergo transplants in unlicensed commercial centers that lack the necessary facilities to perform such delicate operations, which have resulted in complications for the patients,” she noted.

Najjar stressed the importance of donating in order to solve such problems and reach an adequate number of organ donations. Kuwait’s need for donors is increasing, she said, pointing to the start of a liver transplant program earlier this year, where several transplants were conducted with remarkable success.

Saving lives
Dr Mustafa Al-Musawi, Chairman of Kuwait Transplant Society, said a deceased donor can save at least eight lives if the family decides to donate the organs. “People are aware now, but we must continue to educate people on the importance of organ donations. The most donated organs in Kuwait are kidneys and pancreas,” Musawi said.

The Organ Transplant Center of Kuwait Transplant Society calls upon individuals to agree to donate their organ tissues after death. KTS distributes consent cards bearing the message: In order to save lives and help patients, being of sound mind and without coercion, I hereby agree to donate my organs and tissues after death. Donators have to fill the card with their full name, signature, date and at least one witness with their signature. The donator will also have to provide their father’s and family names, gender, date of birth, address, civil ID number, email address, contact details and home and work telephone numbers.

Kuwait Transplant Society was founded in 1984 in accordance with its statute: Educate citizens about the importance of organ transplants for patients who need them, provide patients health and social care, encourage research and scientific studies that aim to improve and develop methods of organ transplants, and the allocation of the necessary reward for the best research in this area. They also organize conferences and seminars for organ transplants and participate in local and international events.

By Ben Garcia