By Noimot Olayiwola/Staff Reporter
The Hamad Medical Corporation last month successfully transplanted two kidneys. The patients received the organs from brain dead donors, a senior official said yesterday.
“We were able to transplant kidneys in two male patients last month and both patients have been discharged and are doing fine,” HMC Nephrology Department head Dr Hassan al-Malki told journalists at a public awareness campaign organised by the Corporation to mark the World Kidney Day (WKD).
Intended to raise awareness of the importance of kidneys to overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems, WKD is observed every second Thursday in March. This year’s theme was Kidneys for Life - Stop Kidney Attack!
The Qatar Organ Transplant Centre started kidney transplants for adults in 1986 and also launched the paediatric kidney transplant programme last December.
HMC statistics show that diabetic nephropathy was the most common cause of end-stage renal disease among Qataris and chronic glomerulonephritis (renal disease) among expatriate patients and according to Dr al-Malki, some 10% of Qatar’s population suffers from kidney diseases and other kidney-related health problems.
“Due to high prevalence of diabetes in the country, a number of people are suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD), which is a progressive loss in renal function over a period of months or years,” he explained.
He mentioned that at any given time, there are a total of 500 patients on dialysis with 50% of them diabetic while some 150 are on the waiting list for kidney transplant.
Dialysis is a process for removing waste and excess water from the blood and is used primarily to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function in people with renal failure.
“We are organising this event, sponsored by Ooredoo, to educate the people that kidney disease is bad but that it is easy to detect and can be prevented,” he explained adding that diabetes, hypertension and kidney stones can lead to kidney disease if no action is taken.
“Kidney disease can also lead to other health problems such as kidney failure, cardio-vascular diseases, heart attack thus causing increased mortality,” Dr al-Malki maintained.
Other objectives of observing the day include to:
- Raise awareness about “amazing kidneys” highlighting that diabetes and high blood pressure are key risk factors for CKD.
- Encourage systematic screening of all patients with diabetes and hypertension for CKD.
- Encourage preventive behaviour.
- Educate all medical professionals about their key role in detecting and reducing the risk of CKD, particularly in high risk populations.
- Encourage transplantation as a best-outcome option for kidney failure and the act of organ donation as a life-saving initiative.
Fahd Bin Jassim Kidney Centre Pharmacy head and WKD Committee head Dr Noriya al-Khuzaei mentioned that a slew of activities have been organised to coincide with the WKD this year.
“We have been organising a number of activities for the past two days to create awareness about the day by holding awareness campaigns including lectures and educational activities at Landmark, Hyatt Plaza and the Mall as well as four Arabic schools and Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar,” she said.
According to her, a scientific symposium will be held today at the Medical City clubhouse from 8am to 1pm.
Earlier yesterday, a number of students, HMC staff and volunteers took part in a walkathon, led by the Qatar Armed Forces band at the Katara Esplanade.
A number of residents were checking their blood pressure, blood glucose while children had their faces painted and played on bouncy castles placed near the beach.
Students from three different schools comprising Arabic, Indian and Filipino schools, took centre stage to showcase their talents during live musical performances.
They also took part in educational quiz competition where some 20 iPods were given away as prizes.
A photo contest about the WKD is on at www.wkd.org.qa until March 20 with a prize giving planned for March 30.
An IPhone5 will be given to the best three entries.