A senior member of the Turkish government, former Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan, recently visited Israel for stem cell treatment. Unakitan, who is suffering from chronic renal failure, served seven years in Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government from 2002-2009.
According to Turkish media, the 67-year-old Turkish politician was treated at Tel Aviv’s International Center for Cell Therapy & Cancer Immunotherapy (CTCI) for almost two and a half months.
In people with chronic kidney disease (CKD), the damaged kidney or kidneys slowly lose their filtering ability. The buildup of waste in the body can cause major health problems. Left untreated, the kidneys may fail (known as end-stage renal disease), and the patient will need dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to live.
Israel’s groundbreaking methods in stem cell treatments of the disease may help Unakitan avoid a kidney transplant and cease dialysis treatments.
Turkish media reports indicate that Unakitan will visit Israel again for additional treatments in the future.
Israel’s highly advanced medical innovations and treatments have been utilized by patients across the Middle East. The Jewish state has opened its doors to patients of adversary countries, including Iraq and Iran. In 2008, Israel treated a 12-year-old boy from Iran who was suffering from a brain tumor.
In August 2012, the husband of Suhila Abd el Salam, sister of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, was admitted to Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikva for immediate medical treatment following a serious heart condition. Haniyeh’s brother-in-law opted to come to Israel instead of Egypt for treatment and was transferred at the Gaza border by a Magen David Adom ambulance.