In a significant achievement for Qatar, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has said its Organ Transplant Programme will soon start lung transplants.
The new milestone was announced at a special ceremony at HMC attended by HE the Minister for Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari and other officials.
A lung transplant is a major procedure to replace a person’s diseased lungs with those from a donor. It is offered to people with lung failure when all other treatment options have failed. Currently, Qatar’s organ transplant programme offers kidney and liver transplants and transplant surgeries, making HMC one of the most comprehensive transplant centres in the region, the corporation said in a press statement Monday.
HE Dr al-Kuwari said the new lung transplant programme will ensure that patients in Qatar have access to this specialised level of care.
“Qatar’s organ donation and transplantation programmes have fairness and equity at their heart and are something which we can be extremely proud of,” she said.
“Qatar’s national strategy for organ donation and transplantation is not only world-leading in terms of the clinical and ethical standards it applies, but it is also one that is appropriate to the healthcare needs of our growing and diverse population.
“Being able to offer lung transplants here in Qatar is a true milestone for our highly specialised teams, and means that our patients no longer have to travel overseas for these procedures and follow-up care.”
The programme will provide individualised treatment for patients in need of a transplant with a multidisciplinary team of transplant pulmonologists and surgeons, along with nurses, social workers, dietitians, rehabilitation staff and other specialists to provide comprehensive care and support. This includes Prof Takahiro Oto, a respected expert in lung transplantation who recently joined HMC as Lung Transplant team lead, the statement noted.
Dr Abdulla al-Ansari, chief medical officer of HMC, said it was a great achievement for the organisation and the teams involved to move into the next phase in the development of transplant services in Qatar.
“As an organisation, we have continued growing to meet the increasing and changing needs of our community and has been striving to fulfill its 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 programme would be a success, but also marshalling the planning, resources and technology needed to make this happen. Now, just one year later, we are ready to launch lung transplants at Hamad General Hospital – a momentous achievement for HMC and for Qatar.”
Dr Yousuf al-Maslamani, medical director of Hamad General Hospital and director of Qatar Center for Organ Transplantation, said the launch of the programme was the culmination of many years of hard work by the transplant teams.
“Since the start of our transplant programme in 1986, we have worked tirelessly and strengthened the exceptional care we provide to our patients,” Dr al-Maslamani said. "We have in place a multidisciplinary team with some leading international experts that will enable us to deliver the highest levels of care to our patients who need these procedures.
“At HMC, we also have the technology, facilities and access to the expertise to perform these surgeries and importantly have overwhelming community support for the organ donation programme, which is one of the keys to its success.”
Dr Riadh Fadhil, director of the Qatar Organ Donation Center at HMC and chair of the Heart and Lung Taskforce, said there are currently more than 430,000 registered organ donors in Qatar.
“The wider organ donation and transplantation programme continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of our community and has been striving to fulfill its vision to provide the best-quality care for all patients, irrespective of nationality, religion, or race,” Dr Fadhil said.