ABU DHABI - The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector in the Emirate, and US-based Eversight, one of the leading non-profit eye banks in the world, partnered to establish the UAE’s first Eye and Tissue Bank.

The Agreement will witness the creation, development and operation of a comprehensive and seamless eye transplantation framework in the UAE.

In attendance of Abdulla bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Chairman of DoH and Carrie Wolverton - Global Development Director at Eversight, the partnership was reflected through a Memorandum of Understanding which was signed by Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of DoH and Global Director, Development at Eversight.

Through this strategic collaboration, DoH and Eversight will set the building blocks across three phases which include programme design, implementation and management. In its early stages, both entities will focus on implementing the necessary arrangements for the Eye and Tissue Bank - Abu Dhabi to serve as an importer for corneas and other eye-related tissues into the region. In addition to integrating the eye and tissue banking programme into the UAE’s National Programme for Organ Donation and Transplantation.

For its part, Eversight will develop a comprehensive medical framework to standardise and operate procedures on all clinical functions within the Eye and Tissue Bank - Abu Dhabi in accordance with international best practices in Abu Dhabi.

Dr. Al Kaabi said, “Under the directives of our wise leadership, Abu Dhabi continues to partner with leading international bodies to elevate its national healthcare operations across all fronts. We are proud to have partnered with Eversight today to establish yet another impactful programme that contributes to maintaining and enhancing lives in the UAE and beyond. Through this partnership, we aim to further improve healthcare outcomes and facilitate quick and seamless operations for all patients in need of eye-tissue transplantation in the UAE.”

Al Kaabi added, “We encourage all community members to register their consent to donate organs and tissues post-mortem. While we work limitlessly to reiterate Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading destination for healthcare, we empower our community to partake in the journey to excellence through noble and sentimental actions as this.”

Erik Hellier, Director of Global Development in Eversight, said, “Our vision for the future is to expand our reach, connect more effectively with all communities and provide a life full of sight to anyone in need. Our vision is a world without blindness. This partnership is an enormous step towards that vision. This is the highlight of my 17 years in eye banking and we are very excited for the future.”