World Kidney Day provides an opportunity to reflect on the success of kidney transplantation as a therapy for end stage renal disease. The global burden of chronic kidney disease is increasing and is projected to become the fifth most common cause of years of lives lost globally by 2040. This year 2020, World Kidney Day highlights the importance of prevention, detection and equitable access to care.

The Mediclinic City Hospital’s transplant programme offers patients suffering from end stage renal disease an alternative to dialysis. The transplant team provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for potential transplant recipients and donors, from initial consultation through to the procedure of donation or transplant, and beyond.

The programme enjoys a strong and supportive partnership with Mohammed Bin Rashid University (MBRU) in propelling transplant to the forefront of healthcare, in the process helping to transform the nation's laws on organ donation and transplant and making the service available to the UAE's citizens and residents.

This year Mediclinic City Hospital also signed a three party agreement with Al Jalila Children’s Hospital and MBRU to establish an organ transplant programme. This is a prime example of what can be achieved when Government and private sectors join forces. This form of collaboration has been highlighted by HE Dr. Amin Hussain Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary of the Minister of Health, as a sought after and valued asset in the present and future healthcare in the UAE.

In June 2016 Mediclinic City Hospital was the first transplant centre in Dubai to perform a deceased donor kidney transplant. The programme caters to all residents of the UAE, citizens and expatriates alike, and is considered the best option for residents of the Northern Emirates considering a transplant. The programme has been accredited by the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation (SCOT), the reference centre for organ donation and transplant for the GCC; Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA) and the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP). Furthermore, the programme has been assessed by the Joint Commission International, and excelled in the accreditation.

Dr. Ramzi Ayache, Consultant Nephrologist, says, “We offer both living-related and deceased donor transplant options to patients suffering from end stage renal disease.  Our ethos is to provide the transplant option to any patient who chooses to explore transplant in an equitable, transparent and just manner. All our post renal transplant patients are alive and healthy maintaining an excellent renal function and a graft survival of 100%. None of the patients required dialysis post-surgery as they had an immediate graft function.”

The internal transplant committee at Mediclinic City Hospital assesses and formally agrees on all cases before proceeding to either living-related donation or wait listing. On donor identification and offer of a donated kidney by the National Transplant Committee, the internal transplant committee meets to discuss and shortlist the best possible recipients, and provides written documentation to the hospital administration of all final decisions.

Mr. Vinay B. Pokale, a recent renal transplant patient at Mediclinic City Hospital, said “Each passing week after my surgery, I have seen improvement and with each improvement I feel hopeful. I don’t know who my donor was, but because of his/her brave decision to make a donation like this, I have been blessed with second chance in life. I will be ever grateful.”

Dr.Farhad Al Janahi, Assistant Professor at MBRU, Consultant Urologist and part of the Mediclinic City Hospital Transplant Team, summed up the effort that goes into this programme:  “Our entire community has embraced this endeavour. We are extremely grateful to all who made this possible especially our Government, Dubai Airports and immigration, police, transport, and all our hospital staff for their tireless work. Last but not the least, our donor families, who in their time of grief thought of giving life to another human.  They not only brought joy to our recipients but their entire families.”