A total of 290 kidney transplants have been carried out in Cyprus since 2011, Minister of Health, Dr. Popi Kanari said on Wednesday.
She said that 191 transplants were performed from living donors, including nine from individuals with incompatible blood groups, and eight transplants in children. Additionally, 99 transplants were carried out from deceased donors.
In her address during the event for European Organ Donation and Transplantation Day, Dr. Kanari noted that by November 1, 2023, 30 kidney transplants have already been performed, with 14 from living donors and 16 from deceased donors.
She described as ‘undeniably concerning’ the increasing demand for organ transplantation on a global level, adding that on average, 39,000 patients underwent transplantation in 2022, and 48,000 new patients are on waiting lists worldwide.
According to Dr. Kanari, “this means that approximately six new patients are added to the transplant waiting list every hour.” She added that in Europe, an average of 19 patients die each day while waiting on an organ transplant waiting list, silently suffering.
“With the aim of increasing the number of transplants, both from living and deceased donors, the state supports and concurrently commends the efforts of the Ministry of Health, the Transplant Council, and the State Health Services Organisation (SHSO) to implement significant actions, such as the operation of the new Transplant Clinic at Nicosia General Hospital since September 2022,” the Μinister said.
She also added that through the driver’s license application process, citizens have the opportunity to apply for registration in the Deceased Donor Registry for Transplantation.
The Government, Kanari noted, “attaches special importance and priority to this sensitive issue, with the goal of ensuring a better quality of life for our fellow citizens who await and hope for a second chance in life through transplantation.”
“Prejudices and fears have no place in our hearts, especially when a deceased organ donor has the potential to save eight fellow human beings,” she remarked.
The Health Minister stated that in the near future, the Ministry of Health and the Transplant Council will officially seal their collaboration with the Ministry of Health of the Hellenic Republic and the Hellenic Transplant Organisation in the field of organ transplantation, always focusing on the patients and the improvement of healthcare services.
She said that the two agreements concern the donation of organs to Greece and carrying out liver, heart, and lung transplants for Cypriot recipients, as well as cross-transplants.
Regarding the treatment of patients with liver diseases and transplant patients with liver issues, Dr. Kanari said that they aim to develop scientific cooperation with specialised centers abroad, noting that “the recent visit to King’s College Hospital and the Royal Free in London, accompanied by the Executive Director of the Hellenic Transplant Organisation, aimed at preparing for the signing of a cooperation agreement”.
“We were told that it was the first time the Cypriot government made a cooperation proposal with specific requests. We expect their counter-proposals soon,” she added.
Minister Kanari publicly conveyed her apologies to patients for their suffering due to the lack of a Hepatology Clinic.