Al Jalila Foundation funds the first pediatric kidney transplant from a live donor in the UAE
In yet another success story of public-private collaboration in Dubai’s medical sector, a team of physicians from Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital (Al Jalila Children’s), Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) and Mediclinic Middle East have successfully carried out the first pediatric kidney transplant from a live donor in the UAE on a 16-year-old boy suffering from end-stage kidney. The surgery was funded by Al Jalila Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to transforming lives through medical research, education and treatment in the UAE.
In a special letter sent to the patient, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai told Pritvik Sinhadc that the UAE is his home and that he would receive the best care possible. In the letter, His Highness said: “To my dear Pritvik, this is a small gesture from me to you to remind you that you are here at home and that you are in safe hands, and I will pray to God to keep you in good health and safe… keep smiling little warrior.”
In June 2020, Pritvik arrived at the nephrology clinic of Al Jalila Children’s suffering from complete kidney failure. Having been born with small, partially functioning kidneys, Pritvik had reached end stage kidney disease and required immediate renal replacement therapy, according to his doctors.
Pritvik’s father, Bhaskar Sinhadc, was identified as a successful match following which he was placed through a full donor evaluation process. The transplant was successfully executed by Dr. Ramzi Ayache, Nephrologist at Mediclinic City Hospital, in collaboration with Dr. Farhad Janahi, Consultant Urologist & Transplant Surgeon at Mediclinic City Hospital and Assistant Professor of Surgery at MBRU and Dr. Waldo Concepcion, Head of the Al Jalila Children’s Organ Transplant Center. The operation, which has saved Pritvik’s life, is also expected to improve the quality of his life in the years ahead.
Before undergoing his surgery, His Excellency Humaid Al Qutami, Director General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) visited Pritvik to enquire about his condition and reiterated DHA’ s unwavering support towards the welfare of the family.
Al Qutami said the exceptional transformation witnessed in Dubai’s healthcare sector reaffirms the emirate’s global position as a preferred destination for people looking for a distinctive medical experience in a safe and healthy climate.
He highlighted the success of government and private healthcare facilities in Dubai in providing the highest levels of care to patients when performing various kinds of operations, including rare and complicated surgeries, thanks to their state-of-the-art facilities and skilled medical professionals.
“The success of Pritvik’s operation marks an important step forward in conducting such highly precise operations. It also supports the development efforts taking place in Dubai,” said Al Qutami. The Director General of DHA congratulated the medical team who performed the operation, including all the teams who contributed to its success.
Her Excellency Dr. Raja Al Gurg, Vice Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, MBRU, said the University was honoured to be part of the historic procedure in the UAE. “Our mission at MBRU is to advance health in the UAE and beyond, and this historic procedure is proof that we are on the right path. Our core values of connectivity, giving and excellence came to the fore through our connectivity with long-standing partners, a commitment to medical excellence and giving back to communities.” she said.
“We are proud of the achievements of MBRU’s Organ Transplant Programme thus far and its role in bringing partners together to create better outcomes for patients. Most importantly, we are humbled to have played a part in allowing this impressive young man Pritvik to live his life and press ahead while enjoying quality time with his family and realising his full potential.”
Dr. Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO, Al Jalila Foundation, said: “Through our A’awen programme we are helping parents give their children the opportunity to undergo the latest medical procedures at world-class medical institutions, offering them renewed hope for their child’s future. The programme helps alleviate the financial burden on families so that they can focus on their child’s treatment plan and recovery. Our top priority at Al Jalila Foundation is to transform lives through medical innovation, and without investments in research, advances in life-changing healthcare are not possible. We are grateful to our partners and generous donors for working with us to give children like Pritvik a chance to have a healthy, prosperous future. Pritvik is a bright young boy with a full life ahead of him. We wish Pritvik a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing what the future holds for him on a personal and academic front.”
Dr. Abdulla Al Khayat, CEO of Al Jalila Children’s Speciality Hospital, said: “We are proud of this joint achievement which has given Pritvik a new lease of life. This pioneering surgery puts us one step closer towards achieving our government’s vision of increasing access to quality transplant services and putting the UAE at the forefront of organ transplant regionally and globally. Our dedicated team of experts in the newly launched Al Jalila Children’s Organ Transplant is working day and night to provide children suffering from acute and chronic kidney disease with quality care in a child friendly environment, helping improve the lives of children in the UAE and beyond.”
Matthew Dronsfield, Director of Mediclinic City Hospital, said: “We at Mediclinic Middle East are proud to be a part of the first successful living donor paediatric renal transplant. This marks another important milestone for the development of transplant services in Dubai which is the result of the close collaboration by our multi-disciplinary transplant teams at MBRU, Al Jalila Children’s and Mediclinic Middle East. Pritvik’s father, Bhaskar Sinha, was operated on in Mediclinic City Hospital on the day of transplant and will continue to be closely monitored by the transplant team.”
A talented young boy, Pritvik has been accepted as an official affiliated researcher at BEYOND: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science to research astrophysics. He is a published co-author on NASA’s Primer on Astrobiology and graduated as a World Science Scholar in June 2020. However, his medical condition was taking a heavy toll on his research work and his schoolwork, necessitating an urgent kidney transplant.
Pritvik, who was named a UAE Ambassador of Organ Donation, said: “I pledge to work towards raising awareness on the crucial need for organ donation in saving lives of patients like me, who would otherwise not make it without a transplant. I have been lucky to have my father as my donor. However, there are many who need transplants to survive and I shall be working closely with MBRU and the Al Jalila Foundation to ensure that there is increased awareness on organ donation.”
In December 2020, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced that the government has approved an organ transplant programme to further cement Dubai’s leadership in this field and raise the bar for healthcare excellence. The programme will contribute to the efforts to transform Dubai into a global healthcare tourism destination and a centre for medical research. Pritvik’s case, amongst many others, reflects the progress that key entities are making in working together to transform Dubai into a global healthcare destination.