Health official: Kuwait leader in kidney transplant operations

Assistant Undersecretary for Medical services Affairs Fatema Al-Najjar.

Kuwait is a leader in kidney transplantations in the Gulf and the Arab world with 80 to 100 operations taking place annually, Assistant Undersecretary for Medical services Affairs Fatema Al­Najjar said Sunday.

Al­Najjar, noting the first kidney transplant in Kuwait took place in Februarty 1979, made the remarks on behalf of Minister of Health Bassel Al­Sabah during a ceremony honoring kidney donors held in cooperation with Kuwait Transplant Society (KTS). Around 400 people suffer kidney failure each year due to diabetes and blood pressure, half of them become eligible for kidney transplantation, Al­Najjar said.

The official added despite accessibility to medical facilities in Kuwait, number of kidney donors are low, which remains a major obstacle not only in Kuwait but most countries of the world, especially in the Middle East and Asia.

Patients are sometimes forced to wait for long periods of time or even travel abroad to buy kidneys, and undergo transplant in unlicensed commercial centers that lack the necessary facilities to perform such delicate operations, which resulted in complications for the patients, she noted. Al­Najjar stressed importance on donating in order to solve such problem and reach an adequate number in organs donations.

Kuwait’s need for donors is increasing, she said, pointing to the start of a liver transplant program earlier this year, where several transplants were conducted with remarkable success. At the end, the official expressed thanks to all donors and their relatives for their contributions, affirming on the ministry’s keenness to continue relentless help to cure this disease.

Source: KUNA