KUWAIT: Associate Surgery Professor and Head of the Organ Transplant Department at Kuwait University Dr Mohammad Jamal said obesity rates are high in Kuwait, adding that the country is among the top five obese nations worldwide. He warned that eating unhealthy food and lack of exercise are among the causes of obesity.
Jamal said Kuwait conducts 5,000 bariatric surgeries annually, adding that the number of patients who need liver transplants in Kuwait is 80 per year. Currently, 20 are on the waiting list, he said, reminding that the cost of a liver transplant abroad is $1-2 million, while in Kuwait it is about KD 20,000. He said there have been six liver transplants that were ever performed in Kuwait.
Jamal was speaking during a press conference organized by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, which is one of the healthcare facilities belonging to Mubadalah Investment Company. Jamal said the presence of this hospital in Abu Dhabi is something historic that adds to quality healthcare in the region, and it seeks to have fruitful cooperation with the health sector in Kuwait.
Meanwhile, Head of the Digestive Disease Institute at the clinic Matthew Kroh said many patients are traveling abroad for treatment related to digestive system diseases, “although now we see an increased number of patients who opt to remain in Abu Dhabi for advanced treatments that are available without having to travel.” He said Kuwait is second over the number of patients who prefer treatment at the hospital.
He said 2-3 percent of obese patients undergo surgery, so Cleveland Clinic is working towards making bariatric surgeries safer, and modern technology will help in this regard. The clinic conducted 35 organ transplants by the end of 2018, 10 of which were liver transplants, and it is negotiating with the health sector in Kuwait to have experts participate in complicated surgeries. It also shares its expertise in robotic surgeries, as it is considered a pioneer in the region by using robots for colon, hernia and obesity surgeries.
By Abdellatif Sharaa