Working together to support pediatric transplants in developing centersThrough the ISN GO Sister Renal Center (SRC) Program, Anil Vaidya from the Oxford Kidney Unit and Mignon McCulloch from Guy’s Children Hospital in the UK travelled to Sousse, Tunisia to help local clinicians carry out five pediatric living-related donor (LRD) transplants, with the support of the University of Ghent’s Renal Division.This experience reveals how strong contacts are built through SRC partnerships. In January 2010, the Nephrology Clinic, University of Medicine Sahloul, Tunisia and the Renal Division, University of Ghent Hospital, Belgium were granted level B SRC status. They have now become an active joint partnership.“Since 2007, Anil Vaidya has helped me establish an adult LRD Transplant Program in Minsk, Belarus. In 2009, he helped me perform the first three pediatric kidney transplants in the country training local clinicians as part of the Minsk Oxford SRC Program. In fact, this center has subsequently performed a further four pediatric kidney transplants independently,” explains ISN GO SRC Chair Paul Harden. These initiatives in Belarus and Tunisia have successfully established a local pediatric kidney transplant program that did not previously exist. This would not have been possible without logistical support from ISN and the dedication and humanitarian enthusiasm of the clinical teams involved.SRC makes kidney services grow in NigeriaThe University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital is the only tertiary healthcare institution in Kwara state, Nigeria. It provides healthcare services to 3.5 million people.Through its involvement in the ISN Sister Renal Center (SRC) Program, it has shown tremendous growth in facilities, manpower as well as clinical research and training activities. With help of the Middlesex Hospital in the UK, the Gambro Center in Sweden and the Fresenius Medicare Center in Germany, it has carried out hemodialysis procedures and trained existing staff.In the 90s, the center received accreditation for training nephrology as a sub-specialty of internal medicine. Collaboration with other departments has evolved into a strong research group named the Ilorin Renal Study Group, focusing on infection and inflammation leading to glomerulonephritis ? a common cause of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in Nigeria. With help from the Sheffield Kidney Institute, one of the biggest kidney units in the UK, the center has set up a CKD prevention program to determine the magnitude and pattern of CKD in Kwara state.Sharing knowledge and skills for better kidney care in ArgentinaAfter his training at Yale University, Marcelo Orías developed the idea of a Sister Renal Center (SRC) partnership with his home institution, the Sanatorio Allende Renal Service in Córdoba, Argentina. He believed that this was a great way of increasing growth and collaboration on both sides.He says: “it is a great way to open minds and change habits in a short period of time. Medical and healthcare staff at the Emerging Center were touched by this program that stimulates the will to set higher standards. Hemodialysis nurses have been trained to understand efficient dialysis and taught renal fellows that every study protocol should be designed to be published.”Dialysis patients benefited from hands-on teaching in different areas such as fistula cannulation and hemodialysis catheter care. For two weeks, Yale Dialysis Head Nurse Mary Zorzanello taught nurses all dialysis techniques. A Continuous Educational Course for the Emerging Center dialysis unit was also developed under her guidance. Orías believes that by helping Emerging Centers become centers of excellence, patients benefit from a higher quality of care. “The knowledge that Emerging Center nephrologists acquire spreads to the surrounding medical community like a domino effect,” he adds.
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