Nine-year-old Bana Nizar Hassan from Sudan has become the first child to receive a kidney transplant in Dubai.
The surgery was performed at Al Jalila Children’s Speciality Hospital by a joint medical team from Al Jalila Children’s – the UAE’s first and only dedicated children’s hospital – and Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU), with the team led by MBRU’s prominent transplant surgeons Dr. David Hickey, Professor of Surgery and Dr. Farhad Janahi, Assistant Professor of Surgery.
A total of nine government and health authorities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have worked together seamlessly to ensure the kidney from a deceased donor in Abu Dhabi could be transplanted within a 12-hour window.
The organisations working with Al Jalila Children’s and MBRU were Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA), the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) and its National Transplant Committee, Al Jalila Foundation, Abu Dhabi Police, Abu Dhabi Health Services Co. (SEHA), Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, and Sheikh Khalifa Medical City.
Bana, who was born with just one kidney – a condition called renal agenesis, which affects around one in 1,000 children – was being treated with medication at Al Jalila Children’s, and was facing eventual dialysis or transplant. Now, thanks to the pre-emptive kidney transplant during a successful five-hour surgery, Bana is able to carry on with her life.
The lead surgeon, Dr. David Hickey, is former director of National Kidney and Pancreas transplant programme in Ireland, He has performed over 2000 transplant and trained transplant surgeons from different part of the world. He has over 130 Peer review international scientific publication.
Dr. Abdulla Al Khayat, CEO of Al Jalila Children’s, said “We have just witnessed a defining moment in the history of Dubai’s paediatric healthcare system and Al Jalila Children’s is proud to have become a contributor to that history.
“As well as this being an incredible medical achievement, what we’ve seen is exemplary cooperation between nine different entities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi that came together in virtually no time to make this surgery possible. This is the first of many to come and we are on track to ensuring Dubai is the hub of paediatric healthcare in the region by contributing to UAE’s 2021 vision for the health sector.
“While we celebrate this milestone, we must not forget the kindness and generosity of the donor that made it possible for Bana to start life anew.”
“We are proud of the efforts of the joint team from MBRU and Al Jalila Children’s, our clinical academic affiliate, who were involved in this historic moment in UAE healthcare,” said Dr. Amer Sharif, Vice Chancellor of MBRU and CEO of DHCA’s Education Sector.
“It is testament to the efforts that have gone into the MBRU transplant programme, which was launched in 2016. This milestone was achieved through the visionary leadership of DHCA, enabling us to advance health in the UAE and the region and demonstrates a unified national effort towards the betterment of healthcare services for our people.
“We aim to serve humanity through quality initiatives and demonstrating excellence in patient care and we wouldn’t have been able to do this without a national effort and involving so many people and institutions in the UAE, led by MOHAP including the donor family whose selfless act realized a new life for others.”
With a big smile on his face, Nizar Hassan Yousif, father of young Bana commented: “We have been suffering for 9 years now – we knew that there was something wrong with my daughter’s kidneys before she was even born.
“What we feel now is beyond words; it feels like we all have a new life to start together. It is also extremely overwhelming for us to see so many people from different entities across UAE come together to treat my baby; thank you is not enough for them.
“Bana’s first smile after the operation was the most precious moment in my life, and I would like to dedicate her first smile to our gracious donor and his family, God bless them all.”