Al Jalila Children’s, the first and only children’s hospital in the UAE, announced that it recently performed another successful paediatric kidney transplant in collaboration with the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU). Six-year-old Reem, the daughter of a Dubai Police employee, was born with an inherited (genetic) kidney disorder. She was diagnosed with kidney failure when she was nine-months-old.
Reem was referred to the Al Jalila Children’s Kidney Centre in June 2017 for continued renal care and possible kidney transplantation. She was found to have had severe bone disease due to kidney failure and growth retardation, fluid overload due to lack of urine production and high blood pressure. Her health improved somewhat after she was switched to hemodialysis, which required the insertion of a central venous catheter and four to five dialysis sessions weekly, each over several hours in the hospital, yet she was in dire need of a transplant.
Dubai Police Commander-in-Chief, His Excellency Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, paid a surprise visit to Reem and her family at her hospital room in Al Jalila Children’s to congratulate them, and committed the support of Dubai Police towards Reem’s medical treatment until her full recovery. The Commander-in-Chief also toured the hospital accompanied by Dr. Abdulla Al Khayat, CEO of Al Jalila Children’s, Dr. Mohamed Al Awadhi, COO, and members of the hospital management.
The second successful paediatric kidney transplant was also the result of combined efforts of several government and health authorities in UAE. In addition to Al Jalila Children’s and MBRU, Dubai Police, Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA), the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) and its National Transplant Committee, Abu Dhabi Police, Abu Dhabi Health Services Co. (SEHA), Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, and Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi were involved.
From his side, Dr. Al Khayat said: “we are very pleased with the success of our second kidney transplant for a child in Dubai, and we wish Reem a full and speedy recovery with the help of our post operation healthcare team of specialists.”
“Once again, the unique and magnificent cooperation between all the entities that helped in the success of this operation is nothing less than exemplary of how the public and private sectors in UAE work together for the betterment of the society, and we look forward to saving more children’s lives through their support.”
Dr Amer Sharif, Vice Chancellor of MBRU and CEO of DHCA’s Education Sector said: “I would like to thank the team from Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital, clinical academic affiliate of MBRU, and the University for their joint efforts in reaching yet another milestone in UAE healthcare. This is but an example of how the close collaboration is helping to make a difference and improve healthcare in the UAE and wider region. We are now witnessing great progress in the MBRU transplant program since its launch in 2016. Sincere thanks to the wider teams who worked tirelessly across the UAE in making a difference in our young patient’s life.”
Reem, now fully recovered with a new lease on life, says with her own words: “I can finally go to school.”
In line with Al Jalila Children’s best practices of caring for children with chronic kidney disease, the Kidney Centre of Excellence team provides a multidisciplinary approach led by paediatric nephrologists with the support of specialised (paediatric) nurses, nutritionists, and psychologists. An important aspect is the dedication of the parents and family who work together with the nephrology team. Reem’s parents spent many hours in the dialysis unit every week and took care of Reem’s medical needs at home. Among others, Reem had to take at least 10 different medications every day prior to her transplantation and several more intravenous injections during the dialysis sessions.