Why the Middle East lacks organ donors

Throughout the Middle East, securing enough donors to meet the needs of prospective recipients has long been an uphill battle. Many countries in the region have advanced healthcare systems with the infrastructure required to handle transplants, but social, cultural and sometimes legal obstacles suppress donation rates.

To minimise the risk of organs falling into the wrong hands, many countries have strict laws restricting the donation of organs from living donors to relatives, and require family consent for the organs of deceased donors.

Demand for organs in all countries of the Middle East continues to outpace supply. But some parts of the region are setting a good example for others, public awareness is growing and policymakers are waking up to the fact that when it comes to organ donation, saving lives requires much more than finding the right match.