In the week since Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser publicly supported organ donation in Qatar, registrations in the country have nearly doubled.
Thanks to the altruistic intervention of Her Highness, the recent Ramadan campaign has now registered over 1000 new people, with a great surge in new registrations over the weekend following Her Highness’s organ donor registration. There are more than 2000 new names on the organ donor registry.
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) organized a Ramadan campaign this year to promote awareness of organ donation and the importance of registering as potential organ donors. The campaign, which was centered on major shopping malls in Doha, has registered people from 44 different nationalities, the majority of whom have been Qatari, Indian or Fiplino nationals.
HMC Managing Director, Hanan Al Kuwari PhD, said: “Her Highness’s visionary leadership and patronage of the organ donation and transplantation program has inspired others across all sectors of the community to follow her lead and register. We are deeply grateful for Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser’s personal participation and support in promoting organ donor registration. She has set a shining example for the rest of the population and her noble act has been so inspirational to many members of the community, from different nationalities and walks of life, that many have been encouraged to register themselves.”
The immense interest garnered by Her Highness’s act was evident by the social media comments received following her public support. More than 650,000 Twitter impressions were recorded as well as numerous additional positive comments on other social media websites. In addition, the staff managing the organ donation registration booths in the malls noted 90% increase in positive responses and consents from Qataris and 80% increase from other Arabic-speaking residents.
In a special meeting arranged on 8 August, 2012 in the newly established Qatar Organ Donation Center that is managed by HMC, Her Highness met several organ donors and recipients of transplanted organs. They were able to share their own personal experiences and explain how the organ donation and transplantation program has changed their lives. Her Highness was deeply moved by the stories of these patients as well as the selflessness and bravery of individuals who had donated organs to save another person’s life.
There are currently around 500 people in Qatar with kidney failure who are being kept alive by dialysis. There are 120 suitable patients waiting for a kidney transplant and 14 patients awaiting a liver transplant. However, as in most developed countries, there are not enough organs to meet these life-saving needs and greater understanding and acceptance of organ donation among residents will help greatly towards covering a large percentage of the requirements in Qatar.
An important function of the Qatar Organ Donation Center is the active education and promotion of organ donation in Qatar. Public education and awareness campaigns are an important means to encourage people to register as potential organ donors. HMC, which manages the registered organ donors, has been actively engaged in public awareness and education campaigns over the past few years. This Center provides an important base for dedicated HMC staff to liaise with organ donor families and manage the organ donor registry.
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