Professor Riadh Abdul Sattar Fadhil, Director of Qatar Organ Donation Centre (Hiba) at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) was recently named an advisory expert in the field of organ donation and transplantation at the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Professor Fadhil has been appointed to the newly formed WHO Taskforce on Donation and Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues, comprised of experts from around the globe who are specialists in their field. The new taskforce covers areas of medicine, surgery, ethics, law, patients’ rights, public administration, and health systems.

According to Professor Fadhil, his appointment is a result of the country’s culture of respect for human dignity, autonomy, and equity, and well-structured and resourced public education. Organ donation and transplantation programmes are accessible to all nationalities  in Qatar.

There have been significant changes in the mindset of Qatar’s multi-cultural society, as demonstrated by the strong participation in the organ donor registry and in the deceased and living donation and transplantation programmes.’

According to Professor Fadhil, since the Qatar Organ Donor Registry was launched in 2012, around 300,000 donors, or 15% of the country’s adult population, have registered as organ donors.

Trust in the system is now well established and 2017 was the best year ever since the launch of the transplant programme in 1986.

Last year 47 patients received 12 livers and 35 kidneys from ethically approved living and deceased donors, compared to 2008 when only two transplants were done. This explains why Qatar has become a model for other countries to emulate, thanks to the support of our wise leaders and Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health.’

WHO has identified organ donation as one of its priorities and Professor Fadhil joins other experts, advising on policy and strategy.

It is a great honour to be chosen as a member of this taskforce; we have a lot of experience and knowledge we can share with other countries.’

The most recent data from the WHO Global Observatory on Donation and Transplantation (GODT) shows that more than 130,000 solid organ transplants are performed worldwide each year, and although impressive, it is estimated that this number represents less than 10% of the global need.

Dr Fadhil is a Professor of Urology and Transplant Surgery. He joined HMC as a senior consultant surgeon in 2004 and is currently the Director of the Qatar Organ Donation Centre (Hiba) and the Doha International Academy for Organ Donation. In addition to his recent affiliation to WHO, Dr Fadhil also works internationally with the Transplantation Society Ethics Committee and the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group Board of Councilors.

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