The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has announced that the 2024 Annual UAE Organ Donation and Transplantation Congress will take place in Dubai from January 27 to 30. The event will be hosted as part of the government's ongoing efforts to promote the significance of organ donation, highlighting it as a humanitarian act of profound nobility, in line with sustainability values.
Capitalising on the UAE's advanced medical facilities, skilled healthcare professionals, cutting-edge technology, and robust international collaborations, the congress aims to foster a deeper understanding and acceptance of organ donation. It also reflects the UAE's commitment to being a leader in the field of organ and tissue transfer and transplantation at both regional and global levels.
During the upcoming conference, the Ministry of Health and Prevention is set to promote the concept of organ donation, both in life and posthumously, aligning with the UAE's progressive and adaptable legal framework, including Federal Decree-Law No. 25 of 2023, which governs the donation and transplantation of human organs and tissues, keeping the UAE at the forefront of global medical development.
The 2024 Congress will focus on introducing innovative approaches to augment the success rates of organ transplants and their outcomes. It will also highlight best practices in the domain and strategize effective methods to boost donation rates and procedural outcomes.
The UAE is actively pursuing global leadership in organ donation and transplantation through a well-defined vision and strategic initiatives that underscore the remarkable progress achieved by the UAE's healthcare system, which has seen rapid development and attracted international expertise.
A significant milestone in this journey was the International Conference for Initiatives on Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation, held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from November 7 to 9, 2022. The event brought together over 8,000 specialists and experts.
National Program ‘Hayat’
The National Programme for Donation and Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissue "Hayat" is a national system to enhance efforts to get more people to donate human organs and tissue in accordance with international standards and practices in this regard. The programme, which operates in collaboration with a range of strategic partners, aims to promote organ donation within the community, thereby fostering overall health and safety. Additionally, the programme endeavours to streamline organ transplant procedures and foster a culture of healthy living among the population.
HE Abdullah Ahmed Ahli, Acting Assistant Undersecretary for the Support Services Sector, stressed that the Ministry of Health and Prevention is committed to collaborating with the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, Dubai Health Authority, specialized organ transplantation health facilities, and various local and federal stakeholders. Supported by official, charitable, community, and academic entities, the Ministry will continue to launch initiatives, organise conferences, and enhance public awareness about the significance of organ donation to save lives and offer hope for recovery and a better quality of life. HE Ahli emphasized that these efforts reflect the profound values of generosity, tolerance, and brotherhood ingrained in society by wise leadership through legislation and directives. He stressed that organ donation is a noble humanitarian act that fosters hope, strengthens community solidarity, and grants individuals a renewed opportunity for an improved life.
Areas of discussion
The conference will focus on tackling both the challenges and opportunities associated with posthumous organ donation, explore avenues for devising strategies to boost donation rates, and delve into the legal and ethical aspects linked to this sensitive topic. Additionally, the event seeks to foster collaboration between healthcare professionals, government institutions, and community-based organizations. A significant part of the conference will be dedicated to discussing cutting-edge technological advancements in the field of organ donation and exploring global best practices, such as the use of innovative perfusion machines, systems for identifying organ recipients, and various facets of post-transplant care.
Lauding the upcoming conference, Dr Ali Abdulkarim Al Obaidli, Chairman of the National Committee for Organ Transplantation, stated, "The congress will provide a significant platform bringing together leading innovators in the field of organ donation and transplantation. It will focus on addressing the existing challenges and collaboratively finding solutions that will have a lasting positive impact on the future of organ donation."
Dr Al Obaidli also highlighted that "Hayat" is a national programme designed to bolster the country's efforts in encouraging organ and tissue donations in line with international standards and practices. The programme's goals include streamlining the processes of transfer, transplantation, and preservation of human organs and tissues and providing care to patients suffering from organ deficiency.
"Organ donation ignites renewed hope for patients and their families, promoting community health and safety, and enhancing individuals' quality of life," he added.
Hayat programme enables UAE residents over 21 to register their willingness to donate organs after clinical death, offering a sustainable and effective solution for many patients and positively impacting both donors and recipients.
For further details about the conference, the public is encouraged to visit the conference website at https://www.hayatcongress.com.
Recent data from the National Programme “Hayat” reveals significant progress: around 14,602 individuals have registered in the programme, there are 4,000 patients on donor waiting lists, 160 donors since 2017, and a total of 460 organ transplants have been performed, including 111 since the beginning of 2023.