Saudi researcher notches up several academic firsts

Saudi researcher notches up several academic firsts
Saudi researcher notches up several academic firsts

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Dr. Amani Bint Abdulaziz Bin Ibrahim Al-Salem hopes her study will prove an important step in the direction of promoting the vital role of achieving objectives of the health sector in raising the quality of life for Saudi citizens, as defined in Saudi Vision 2030.

Dr. Amani Al-Salem, the first Middle East researcher in the field of organ donation, was granted her PhD in health marketing from Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. Her doctoral thesis examined the development and promotion of post-mortem organ donation programs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The field of organ donation is a vital, new area that holds great promise in the expansion of possible responses in dealing with incurable disease and illness.

The availability of donor organs after death and the possibility of further treatment may sustain optimism in some patients and may allow some patients to return to a place of hope from despair, reflecting the tenets of social cohesion.

Dr Amani Al-Salem conducted several studies on the factors that prevent Saudis from making the decision to donate organs after death and those that are motivating factors in making the decision to become donors.

Based on the results of these studies, she developed an integrated management plan aimed at increasing the proportion of donors by providing globally recognized best practices and successfully sustained solutions. She refined the potential application of these systems and proposals to suit the particular differences and requirements inherent in Saudi society.

A brain-dead donor can save the lives of eight patients and can donate about 40 tissues for potential benefit to other patients. The percentage of organ donation from the brain dead in Saudi Arabia, however, remains very low. Most of the available organs come from living donors (71%).

The findings of the research carried out by Dr. Amani Al-Salem are especially important when considering the acute shortage of organs available for use in transplantation globally. Every year, the opportunity is being lost to save thousands of people from inevitable death. The stark reality is that there are more than 17,000 patients with organ failure in Saudi Arabia on the waiting list: one death occurs every six hours due to the very small pool of available donor organs.

During her doctoral studies, researcher Dr. Amani Al-Salem received the award for Best Paper in Social Marketing from Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (ANZMAC) 2018 Conference. Her academic output of exceeding 12 scientific publications in prestigious scientific journals, has enabled her to gain the status of a certified referee in a number of scientific journals and conferences.

She was also selected for academic work as a lecturer and was responsible for grading papers and tests of a number of post and undergraduate courses in the Marketing Department at Griffith University, Australia, for 2018 and 2019.

Dr. Amani Al-Salem's achievements have defined her as a leader with a number of academic firsts. She is the first Saudi woman to participate in a referee committee and since 2018, has been working as a certified scientific referee for several international conferences in the field of marketing and a number of prestigious Class A scientific journals.

She is also the first Saudi woman to work as a member and assistant researcher in a research center at Griffith University, Australia, commencing in 2018.

Dr. Amani Al-Salem said: "One does not make achievement without facing difficulties and challenges on the way. Only the most determined can reach the top. In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can do this and be optimistic because nothing can happen without hope and trust in God."

Dr. Al-Salem added that, as a scholarship student in Australia, she was very keen to reflect a positive image of our country and proud to raise the awareness of the role of Saudi women. Saudi students are aware of the great responsibility they carry, gratefully acknowledging the services and facilities available to scholarship students, provided by the Cultural Attaché and the Saudi Embassy in Australia, in supporting their education abroad and achieving their academic goals.

"We must be grateful to the wise leadership, headed by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman – may God preserve them — not only by words but by exemplary action and behavior and dedication to achieve scientific excellence and distinction.

“By striving to achieve the highest ranks in our individual fields of research, we return to our country with valuable skills and knowledge to make our individual and collective contributions to the realization of the Vision 2030 and support our country in achieving its distinguished position among the ranks of developed countries.

“I ask God to grant you success and prosperity and help us to best represent our Kingdom and to perpetuate the grace of security, safety, prosperity and stability for our country."

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