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Cyprus, Israel to cooperate on kidney transplants

The Health Ministries of Cyprus and Israel on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the kidney transplant sector.

According to an official announcement released after the respective health ministers signed the agreement: “This cooperation is an excellent opportunity for the two countries to benefit their citizens whom otherwise would not be able to have kidney transplants.”

The announcement said this would be achieved by creating a larger pool of potential donors and increasing the chances of successful organ exchange between donor-recipient pairs.

The programme particularly aims at helping patients in need of kidney transplantation and who have a living donor available to provide a kidney for someone else if the specific patient and donor are not compatible, the announcement explained.

Speaking after the signing, the Israeli Minister of Health, Yakov Litzman, said: “This is an important medical agreement that could save the lives of Cypriots and Israelis. I consider it a national mission. The agreement strengthen the relations with our close neighbor and friend both medically and in general.”

Also commenting, Cyprus’ Health Minister George Pamboridis said: “The excellent results of the Cyprus Transplant Centre have been recognised at international level, a fact that is also confirmed by  today’s cooperation with Israel, a country with well recognised experience in the field of transplants.”

He described the signing of the MoU as “part of the continuous upgrade of the services” connectdto transplants in Cyprus.

“Initiatives like the current one shall become a beacon of our efforts for assuring quality life and full reintegration into society,” Pamboridis said.

The scheme in its current form has proved to be reliable and is being conducted in developed countries around the world great success, the official announcement said, noting Israel has been running the programme since 2000, USA since 2001, the Netherlands since 2004, and the UK since 2007.

The agreement was signed by the two ministers during a bilateral meeting held on the occasion of an official tripartite meeting of the Ministers of Health of the Republic of Cyprus, Israel and Greece, held in Nicosia on Tuesday.

As part of the same tripartite meeting, Pamboridis was due to meet with his Greek counterpart Andreas Xanthos, followed by a meeting between Xanthos and Litzman.

The three men will then meet during which a joint declaration of intent will be signed. Subsequently the ministers will address the media before retiring to a luncheon.

The Israeli delegation is expected to tour the Nicosia General hospital between 3.45pm and 4.45pm.

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