Almost five hundred thousand people in the Gulf nation have registered to donate their organs after their passing.
As the Holy month of Ramadan draws to an end, more people from Qatar’s community are registering as organ donors, taking the total number of donors to 480,751.
Over the course of two years, Qatar’s Organ Donor Registry has witnessed a 39% rise in potential donors. Health authorities attribute the rise to collective efforts from the public and awareness campaigns.
In May 2019, the number of registered organ donors reached 354,000. By June 2021, the number increased to 452,000.
Earlier this year, Dr. Yousef Al-Maslamani, the Medical Director of Hamad General Hospital (HMC) and Director of the Qatar Center for Organ Transplantation stated that this number is considered to be significantly high, especially in relation to the country’s 2.8 million population, where donors now make up almost 17% of its total.
Last year, the country performed 48 kidney transplants, seven liver transplants, and one lung transplant, authorities confirmed. Thirteen of the donors were deceased.
Unlike most countries around the world, the Gulf nation offers all procedures related to organ donation and transplantation to patients free of charge. This is extended to all residents of the country, including both Qatari and non-Qatari citizens.
What is organ donation?
Organ donors are individuals who voluntarily give an organ to help someone that is in crucial need of a replacement, whether it is a relative, friend, or stranger. While some parts can be donated while the donor is alive, the majority is passed once the individual has passed away.
There are six types of organs that can be donated once an individual passes, they include; kidneys, pancreas, liver, lungs, heart, and intestines. They can also donate bones, skin, heart valves, veins, and corneas. If an individual donates all their organs, they can save up to eight lives.
All of the transplant procedures by HMC are conducted under the Doha Donation Accord, which has received endorsement from the International Transplantation Society and the Istanbul Declaration Custodian Group.
How does it work?
The community can first register to be an organ donor at the Qatar Organ Donation Center to receive an official ‘donor card.’ The card acts as a form of identification to confirm to others that the individual, in the event of his or her death, is an organ donor.
There are different locations for donation offices, including in malls, as part of Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) organ donation campaign. A form must be signed by the individual with the presence of two witnesses available during the time of the signing, as the signature on the document is considered a will per Qatari law and treated as such.
The list of those who agreed to donate their organs after their death is confidential, and can only be accessed after the death of the donor.
The country has one waiting list for organ transplantation with unbiased access to transplant services, irrespective of nationality.