Organ donation saves many lives and lack of donors is a challenge, say surgeons and transplant specialists. Community awareness is key to popularising organ donation.
For instance, there are approximately 2,500 kidney patients in the Sultanate who depend on dialysis. If matching donors are willing to give a part of their body, it will alleviate the suffering of these patients.
Dr Nevin al Kalbani, Head of the Organ Transplant Department at the Royal Hospital, said that organ donation is a humanitarian act and not many come forward to pledge their organs.
Dr Ahmed al Busaidi, Supervisor of the National Program for Organ Transplantation, said: “For the living donor, there are legal conditions as well as strict medical conditions that guarantee the safety of the donor. Many medical tests are conducted for the donor to ensure that the organ is matching and that he does not suffer from any diseases. As for organ donation after death, a person who has reached the legal age can submit his willingness to donate organs after death. When death is confirmed, these organs are evaluated and they are given, if suitable, to the patient in the waiting list according to the protocol.”
Most organs are gifted to recipients from deceased donors, but there are occasions where living donors can save lives in a safe way.
Organs like heart, liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, and pancreas, can be donated after one dies, for the purpose of transplanting them into another person who is in need of an organ. When alive one can give one kidney, a lobe of liver or bone marrow. One organ donor can save nine lives through multiple organ and tissue donation, if they are suitable for transplant.
In March this year, Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saidi, Minister of Health, issued a decision to establish the national programme to regulate transplantation of human organs and tissues.
The aims of the programme are to propose priority criteria on organ donation and control and inspection of medical practices in this field, and setting a plan to enhance community awareness on the importance of donation and instilling the concept of a medical will for donation.
Organ failure poses great suffering to the patients and their family. The only solution to alleviate the pain is transplantation. But the great scarcity of living donors prevents the terminally-ill from leading a decent life.
The ministry supports all efforts to spread the culture of organ donation during life and after death. The ministry hopes that it will alleviate the suffering of patients with organ failure.