The number of organ donors in Qatar has grown in leaps and bounds over the past five years, according to a senior healthcare official.
It went from just 2,000 people in 2012, to some 195,000 in 2017, said Dr. Riadh Fadhil, director of the Qatar Organ Donation Center.
Over the course of Ramadan and the rest of the year, officials hope to get nearly 40,000 more people to sign up to the registry.
To boost registrations, an annual drive kicked off at the beginning of Ramadan.
New donor drive
Residents will be able to sign up as donors in 14 shopping centers and supermarkets around town.
That includes City Center, Villaggio and Al Khor malls, as well as Lulu Hypermarket in Al Gharafa and Al Meera in Mansoura.
Speaking to reporters this week, Fadhil said, according to the Gulf Times:
“In a very short span of time, we have broken all sorts of records as about 80,000 people register as donors yearly. We just started two weeks ago this year and so far we have registered more than 5,000 donors.
We need more donors to register in Qatar so nobody has to face losing a loved one while they are waiting for an organ. Self-sufficiency in organ donation as a society cannot be achieved without community solidarity.”
Qatar has been working to expand its organ transplant offerings in recent years, partly to discourage medical tourism abroad for safety reasons.
Currently, living donors can give a kidney or part of a liver (usually to a relative), or organ donations can be made after death.
The country’s growing population means there is a waitlist for people in need of kidneys and livers.
Signing up to be an organ donor takes only a couple of minutes and volunteers can now hand you an organ donor card on the spot.