Rambam Participates In Historic Israel-UAE Organ Exchange—First Ever With An Arab State
August 1, 2021 – Rambam Health Care Campus participated in a unique kidney transplant arrangement involving donors and recipients in Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
Last Wednesday, at 18:30 it happened – an ambulance arrived with flashing lights from Ben Gurion airport with a kidney for a woman who has been waiting for five years. This was part of a complicated cross-transplant operation of the National Center for Organ transplants.
Doctors at Sheba Medical Center removed a kidney from Shani Markowitz, 39. The surgery went smoothly, and the organ was raced to Ben Gurion Airport in a special cool box, to be flown to Abu Dhabi.
Meanwhile, a woman in Abu Dhabi underwent surgery and her kidney arrived to Israel, for a patient at Rambam – Walla Azyza A 34 years old from the village of Daburiya , near the Ttavor mountain.
The husband of the Rambam patient is giving a kidney to Markowitz’s mother , and Markowitz’s Kidney has gone to the mother of the Abu Dhabi donor. The complex transaction is part of an arrangement involving three families, in which one person in need of a kidney receives a suitable organ, while their relative donates their kidney to a stranger. This system is needed because none of the patients have relatives whose kidneys are a suitable match for them.
“This is very exciting. It’s the first time we have conducted such a process between Israel and an Arab state, and it really shows that medicine has no borders,” said Professor Rafi Beyar, former Director General of Rambam, and now Chairman of the Israel Center for Organ Transplantation.
This is one of several instances of medical cooperation brought about by the year-old Abraham Accords between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Professor Beyar stated: “We have a process in which three families, two in Israel and one in Abu Dhabi, are involved in what we call a cross-couple transplantation. We have done this with Cyprus in the past, but expanding this to the UAE opens new possibilities. Given the geographic proximity of the UAE, it is an arrangement that can be used regularly to save lives.”
See the kidney arriving at Rambam – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jzcc1fnA7g
In the photos: The Kidney arriving at Rambam Health Care Campus for transplant
Photography courtesy of Rambam Health Care Campus