In a move to establish guidelines in the field of transplantation of human organs and tissues, H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Sa’eedi, Minister of Health, has issued a ministerial decision to develop a national programme to regulate human organ and tissue donations.
The programme will contrib-ute to clinical scientific research and implementation of the Technical Committee’s recommendations in regulating the practice of human organ and tissue transfer and transplantation. The National Programme for Regulating Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues is also proposing priority standards for performing human organ and tissue transplantation, control mechanisms and inspection of medical practices in this area, besides developing a plan to enhance community awareness about the significance of tissue donation and encouraging organ donation.
Regulating human organ and tissue transplantation is complex and difficult, and is one of the biggest challenges faced by the health system. The programme will allow coordination among concerned parties and specialists to deal with the challenges and find appropriate solutions to these.
‘Organ transplantation is the only option available for patients with organ failure. Organs can be donated either through living organ donation for kidney and liver, or by a deceased donor for other organs,’ a Ministry of Health statement said.
According the ministry, ‘The list of patients awaiting organs is long due to severe scarcity of donors.
There are approximately 3,000 patients with end-stage renal failure and currently relying on dialysis. Consequently, all efforts are being made to encourage the community to donate organs when alive or in death. A living donor can save eight lives.’
The ministry’s efforts to establish guidelines for the regulation of organ transplantation evoked reactions from citizens.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, veteran blood donor Ahmed bin Hamad al Kharusia, who has donated 164 times, said, “The decision is a very important step towards providing human organs and saving lives. The sultanate finds it difficult to provide human organs for donation and has to rely on imports. The guidelines will regulate the process of organ donation and aid scientific and medical research related to it.’
Welcoming the move, citizen Saeed al Habsi said it will help save lives. “I urge the community to accept the idea of donating organs.”
Describing the ministry’s efforts in this regard as ‘excellent’, Abdullah al Balushi said organ transplants outside Oman are expensive as these involve the cost of searching for a donor and accommodation abroad for extended durations of time during the operation and recovery.