Israel and Cyprus signed a treaty that could benefit hundreds of patients in need of kidney transplants in both countries.

Israel and Cyprus signed a live donor treaty that is expected to help hundreds of kidney transplant candidates in both countries.

The National Transplant Center in Israel and its Cypriot counterpart formulated the plan for the agreement, which was signed Tuesday by Israeli Health Minister Yakov Litzman and Cypriot Health Minister Dr. George Pamboridis, who was visiting the Jewish state.

“This is an important medical agreement that will save Israeli and Cypriot lives,” Litzman said. “This treaty strengthens our diplomatic ties with our close neighbor overseas, and it is also an achievement for the Israeli healthcare system.”

The plan assists transplant candidates with relatives who are willing to donate a kidney, but do not have the matching blood types needed for the procedure. It is a common practice in such cases to look for other pairings of a candidate and a non-matching donor relative, and to cross-match the pairs, allowing both sets of transplants to take place.

Prof. Eytan Mor, director of the Organ Transplantation Department at Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva, said the deal is Israel’s “first transplant collaboration project with Europe.” He added, “I hope and believe that it will allow us to perform transplants in more patients.”

By: Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org