Doha, 7 September 2021: Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) organ transplant program, which recently achieved a milestone with Qatar’s first lung transplant, has grown in stature as a result of the world class expertise on the surgical and support teams.
Qatar’s organ transplant program was launched in 1986. Each year the transplant team perform around 40 kidney transplants from living and deceased donors. The program offers kidney, liver and now lung transplant procedures, making it one of the most comprehensive transplant program’s in the region.
HMC’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Abdullah Al Ansari said Qatar’s Organ Transplant Program is delivered by a multidisciplinary team of transplant specialists and surgeons, along with nurses, social workers, dietitians, rehabilitation staff and other specialists to provide comprehensive care and support.
“As an organization we have continued growing to meet the increasing and changing needs of our community and have been striving to fulfill our vision to provide the best quality care for all patients irrespective of nationality, religion or race,” Dr. Al Ansari said.
“In November 2019 we set up a Heart and Lung Transplant Taskforce team who were charged with not only creating the environment in which the program would be a success, but also marshaling the planning, resources and technology needed to make this happen. Now, we have performed our first lung transplant at Hamad General Hospital – a momentous achievement for HMC and for Qatar.”
Dr. Yousef Al Maslamani, Medical Director of Hamad General Hospital said the successful lung transplant procedure was the culmination of years of hard work by the organ donation and transplant teams.
“The transplant team brings together international and local expertise,” Dr. Al Maslamani said. “At HMC we also have the skills, including international experts, technology, facilities and access to the expertise to perform these surgeries. Our transplant programs have extremely high success rates and we are continuing to expand and improve, offering new procedures.”
Dr. Takahiro Oto, Director of the Lung Transplant program, who moved to Qatar in 2020 to spearhead the program, said he was impressed with the skills and technology available at HMC.
“A lung transplant is complex and needs two surgical procedures – one is donor surgery to retrieve the lung from a brain-dead donor and the other is recipient surgery to replace a diseased lung with a healthy lung,” Dr. Oto said. “The multidisciplinary team that was so efficient at all stages of preparing the patient, during the procedure and currently during the challenging postoperative and recovery course. I am so impressed with the standard of service, expertise of staff and state of the art technology available in HMC.”
The success of the transplant program is also a result of Qatar’s Organ donation program, which has a single, unified waiting list regardless of nationality. The Organ Donor Registry was launched in 2012 and has grown significantly year on year and there now more than 450,000 people on the registry - a 30 percent increase over the last two years
Dr. Riadh Fadhil, Director of the Qatar Organ Donation Center at HMC said the improvement in the rate of deceased organ donation has enabled HMC to introduce new programs and the nation had become a global leader in organ donation policies and strategies.
“The Doha International Academy for Organ Donation utilizes the expertise of distinguished international faculty to education and research in organ donation in Qatar and internationally,” Dr. Riadh, who is also a member of the World Health Organization’s Taskforce on Organ Donation and Transplantation, said. “We are sharing the experience we have in this field with other countries and is supporting them in their path towards creating their own organ donation programs and self-sufficiency in organ transplantation through an international Qatar-led initiative called the ROOTS program.”