Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, (SEHA), the UAE’s largest healthcare network, and Alliance for Paired Kidney Donation (APKD), a non-profit organization based in Ohio, U.S, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) following their recent collective success in facilitating paired kidney donations.

With both organizations sharing a common goal to elevate opportunities for donation and transplants for both local and international patients with kidney disease, this strategic agreement will see SEHA and APKD working closely together to build a paired kidney donation program in the UAE, as well as facilitate transplant opportunities for patients with kidney failure seeking the right match kidney from the UAE or abroad.

Dr. Tarek Fathey, Group Chief Executive Officer, SEHA, said: “A fundamental element of our constant growth and development as SEHA is building fruitful partnerships and relationships with global pioneers. Collaborating with APKD strengthens our position to significantly add to the UAE’s healthcare ecosystem and will introduce ample opportunities for us to transform kidney care locally, regionally and internationally.”

As part of the agreement, SEHA Kidney Care (SKC), part of the SEHA network and Abu Dhabi’s go-to for kidney disease and treatment, will benefit from the opportunity to engage in training modules in health information technology systems applications (including Kidney Match – APKD’s paired organ exchange software), develop educational and scientific research papers and studies, and the exchange of medical, technical, and administrative experience.

Dr. Ali Al Obaidli, Chief Medical Officer, SKC & Chairman of the UAE National Transplant Committee, said: “The key to the success of paired kidney donations is collaboration, locally and internationally. Thankfully, in the UAE, we boast a robust foundation of healthcare stakeholders and partners who will be integral in the build and roll-out of such a program. Building on our support, we are pleased to formalize a long-term partnership with APKD – by strengthening our relationship, we are unlocking pathways into countries across the world that will facilitate life-saving solutions for kidney disease patients across the globe, as well as build and bolster a paired kidney program here in the UAE that will benefit our citizens and residents.”

The APKD provides a powerful matching platform, powered by the Nobel prize-winning algorithm of Dr. Alvin Roth, that works with governments and hospitals around the world to match living kidney donors with patients in need within and across borders.

On a recent visit to the UAE, the inventor of the algorithm and advocate for leveraging economic theories to find tangible solutions to societal problems, Dr. Alvin Roth, said: “Kidney disease is a global problem that requires a global solution. The UAE, with its diverse population and solid healthcare infrastructure, is well positioned to lead the charge. This recent partnership with APKD will undoubtedly save thousands of patients requiring kidney transplantation, in light of the current organ shortage.”

Dr. Michael Rees, MD PhD, Chief Executive Officer, APKD, said: “The UAE’s progressive leadership and its extraordinary commitment to the care of the country’s population, coupled with our mission to secure living kidney transplants for every patient in need across the globe, will enable us to really make a difference and help many more patients. We are thrilled to partner with the UAE’s largest healthcare network in efforts to elevate the country’s infrastructure to not only heal its residents, but to contribute to the global healthcare landscape in terms of cross-country paired donations and transplants and research.”