Qatar has launched the Doha International Academy for organ Donation (DIAOD), world’s first international academy of organ donation, at the Doha International Forum for Organ Donation on Sunday.

The upcoming facility, under the umbrella of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), will utilise the expertise of distinguished international faculty to promote education and research in organ donation in Qatar and internationally.

HE the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari, Hamad General Hospital medical director and Organ Transplant Centre director Dr Yousuf al-Maslamani, Qatar Organ Donation Centre director Dr Riadh Fadhil, a number of scientists and researchers from several countries as well as a number of leading officials from Qatar attended the ceremony.

Dr Fadhil explained that the DIAOD, a virtual facility, will be an additional activity of the Qatar Organ Donation Centre. It will be managed by a steering committee including the international advisory panel and HMC stakeholders from all sciences of transplantation. The steering committee will convene three times a year in Doha.

“The academy will support and empower HMC’s programmes to achieve self-sufficiency in organ donation. It will organise local and international training and educational programmes for HMC and international professionals in the ethical, clinical and laboratory technologies. It will also develop a strategic plan for research for innovative and high impacting projects,” he explained.

The Academy will also become a hub for resources and training materials to assist other countries to establish their own programmes, Dr Fadhil added.

HE Dr al-Kuwari stated that Qatar’s organ donation programme, with a unified national waiting list, has become a model for other countries to emulate.

"With fairness and equity at its heart, our programme has been recognised internationally. Qatar’s national strategy for organ transplantation is not only world-leading in terms of the clinical and ethical standards it applies, but also one that is appropriate to the healthcare needs of our growing country and our diverse population."

Dr al-Maslamani noted that the DIAOD will bolster Qatar’s current organ donation and transplantation programmes and support plans for its expansion.

"With its group of eminent advisors, the Academy will also empower our mission to become a centre of excellence for organ donation regionally and internationally,” he added.

The launch of the DIAOD also saw a group of six international leaders in organ donation and transplantation pledge their support for the initiative and further assist HMC’s goal to achieve self-sufficiency in organ donation.

There was a panel discussion at the event describing the achievements of the organ donation centre in Qatar as well as the challenges it has faced so far. The panel included renowned scientists and researchers from the US, Australia, the UK and European countries.

The international panelists also met with senior leadership of HMC and discussed operational strategies and policies that will promote the work of the academy in the coming years.

During the ceremony the organ donors for the current year were honoured by the minister.