The organ donation drive launched by Qatar has turned out to be a success with more than 4,000 people having registered with the Qatar Organ Transplant Centre so far, a senior Hamad Medical Corporation ( HMC) official has said.
Dr Yousef al-Maslamani, director of the Qatar Organ Transplant Centre and the medical director of Hamad General Hospital, said still more had to be done as additional people should come forward to join the noble initiative. He was interacting with the media on the occasion of the launch of the organ donation campaign organised by the HMC at the City Center Doha.
The organ donation campaign was inaugurated by Qatari entrepreneur HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani, in the presence of HMC officials and members from various organisations at the City Centre on Saturday.
Commenting on the organ donation campaign, Maslamani said that it was the continuation of the HMC activities.
“Usually we begin in Ramadan as it is the month of giving and urging the residents to contribute to the noble cause,” he said.
“People are reluctant to donate organs due to fear of pain in the surgeries involved. Similarly they do not want to go through the follow up activities and spare the time to visit the clinics.”
He also said that people had found other options such as buying organs from other countries.
Maslamani said there were 75 brain deaths in the country last year and 65 this year so far. “But the relatives of only three or four of them were ready to donate their organs. Organ donation is still considered to be socially unacceptable in the society due to various reasons. Many people feel that they are reminded of their death when they hear about organ donation which prevents them from becoming donors.”
The official observed that organ donation was still considered a social stigma for various reasons. “Through these campaigns we are trying to reach out to the families and try to make them understand the need for organ donation. There are a large number of patients but donors are very few. This makes the situation very difficult.”
He highlighted that in the West it was part of the culture of people to donate their organs.
Maslamani said that HMC had conducted a study on organ donation and the behaviour of the people. “The study was concluded three months ago. I will present the findings of the study during a science conference in Vienna in September this year. The major finding of the study is related to brain death and the attitude of the relatives towards organ donation.”
He further stated that there would be one more study soon for the public on the topic of how culture impacts the decisions of organ donation and the reason for the decision.
Maslamani said that campaigns and meetings with various social groups would continue to make the people aware of the importance of organ donation.