EP plans major organ donation campaign

Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif

Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif

The Eastern Province will witness a major public awareness campaign next month to educate Saudis and expatriates on the importance of donating the organs of brain-dead patients and accident victims in order to save the lives of people who need organs.

Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif has given his green light for the campaign across the region with a variety of programs, including lectures, exhibitions, Friday sermons and one-on-one meetings.

The campaign, entitled “Khalluna Nuhayiha” (Arabic for “let us salute [the initiative]”) will be launched on Oct. 16, said Mohammed Al-Dubl, president of the committee for humanitarian initiatives.

He emphasized the importance of organ donation in saving the lives of countless patients, including those suffering from kidney, heart and liver failure.

“We have met with the relatives of 21 brain-dead individuals in order to encourage them to donate their organs and we received approval from nine people so far. This helped us carry out organ transplant operations on 28 patients,” he said, adding that such operations would make patients healthy and productive citizens.

Al-Dubl said the campaign would explain the Shariah teachings on organ donation, as well as its social, health and economic impact on society.

He said the Islamic Fiqh Academy has issued a religious edict allowing organ donation of patients who have been pronounced brain-dead.

Jassim Yaqut, head of the campaign committee, said the program would continue for a week, covering major regional cities.

The program will include a carnival in Alkhobar Corniche, religious lectures at the Asharqia Chamber and King Faisal University in Al-Ahsa and an exhibition at Rashid Mall. Mosque imams will be advised to give Friday sermons focusing on the issue.

Abdul Aziz Al-Turki, chairman of the charitable society for promoting organ donation and supervisor of the campaign, thanked Prince Saud for his support to the humanitarian program.

“It is aimed at deepening and spreading Islamic values and objectives, as well as promoting social values and encouraging members of society to support one another,” he said.

“We also wanted to promote a culture of giving and encourage people to end the suffering of patients afflicted with chronic diseases through organ donation,” Al-Turki said, adding that the number of organ donors in the Kingdom is low.

There are about 15,000 patients suffering from renal failure and not more than 50 kidney donors. “So there is big gap,” he pointed out.

Dr. Hanan Al-Ghamdi, vice president of Ethar Society, said that organ donation would help give life to many patients. “Organ failure is one of the major challenges facing the country’s health system,” she said.


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