Qatar reaffirmed on Saturday its support for concerted international efforts to develop ethical programmes for the donation and cultivation of human organs throughout the world.
HE the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari made the remarks during a meeting discussing the establishment of organ transplant programmes around the world, as part of the ongoing meetings of the World Health Assembly in Geneva since Monday.
The minister explained that Qatar has established an effective record of organ donors after death, and the number of those registered reached about 300,000 within five years, which represents about 15% of the adult population.
She noted that the record is unique in the Middle East and demonstrates the effectiveness of awareness campaigns organised by Hamad Medical Corporation.
She stressed that one of the most important features of the Doha model of organ donation is its respect for human dignity, autonomy and equality, indicating that Qatar respects the dignity of everyone who lives and works on its land and that all have the same just rights to access organ transplant services and have full right to benefit of a joint organ donation programme regardless of their nationality, physical status, religion or race.
The minister said that 89 patients from 12 nationalities living in Qatar received organs from 53 donors from 10 different nationalities. She noted that raising the rate of donation from the deceased remains one of the biggest challenges the Qatari health sector faces. The challenge mainly stems from the rejection of families to donate those organs.
She added that Qatar will host an international meeting in November organised by the Doha International Academy of Organ Donation, bringing together specialists from developed and developing countries to work on plans and strategies to increase awareness of organ donation, combat human organ trafficking and enable each country to establish donation programmes of deceased and ethical evaluation programmes for living donors.
She stressed that self-sufficiency in organ transplantation can be achieved only through international cooperation to support the needy countries and enhance confidence among members of the multinational communities.
The first transplant was carried out in Qatar in 1986. The Doha Agreement on Organ Transplantation was launched in 2009 in co-operation with the International Association for Organ Transplantation and the Istanbul Declaration Group. The principles and strategies of the Doha Agreement are in line with the Istanbul Declaration and the WHO guidelines.