Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has opened an Interim Screening Center in Doha as an initial step to developing a national program for blood stem cell donation in Qatar.
“The Interim Screening Center is laying the foundations as part of our preparations for establishing HMC’s own national blood stem cell program which will contribute to us continuing to delivering safe and effective care to all in Qatar,” said Dr. Yousef al Maslamani, Medical Director at Hamad General Hospital (HGH).
Dr. Yousef said the Interim Screening Center is also working with international organizations and clinicians to help find a match for 13-year-old Zara Al Shaikh, the daughter of Dr. Loua Al Shaikh, one of HMC’s senior physicians. Zara is having chemotherapy to treat leukemia in the United Kingdom and needs a blood stem cell donation to save her life.
“Unfortunately, a matching donor hasn’t yet been found for her, so her family is appealing for as many people as possible to be tested as potential blood stem cell donors,” Dr. Al Maslamani said.
“Over the weekend, HMC established the Interim Screening Center which has been testing staff and members of the community who have come forward to help find a match for Zara and we have been overwhelmed with the response.
“Dr. Al Shaikh has dedicated his life to saving lives in Qatar and we are honored to be playing a role in helping to find a life-saving donor match for his daughter. By preparing to build our own program we will be better positioned to help the people of Qatar who may also need a blood stem cell donation. ”
The Interim Screening Center, which is located in a Mobile Blood Donor Unit parked next to the Blood Donor Center at HGH, will be open for volunteers 2 pm to 8 pm until 25 February.
Those attending must bring one of the following: passport, Qatari ID/Residency Card/Health Care Card. The test itself requires giving a blood sample.
“We urge everyone 18 years and over to consider taking the time to be tested – regardless of blood type,” said Dr. Al Maslamani.
HMC wishes to thank its staff and members of the community who have supported this effort through coming forward to be tested and sharing the message.
You can find out more about Zara’s search on Twitter @Match4Z and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Match4Zara-1528756597454852/