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Conference in Palestine sparks further kidney transplants in the region

An ISN-sponsored Pan-Palestine Nephrology and Kidney Transplant Conference was held in Nablus and Gaza City from October 12 to 18, 2015. The meeting was a great opportunity to exchange knowledge but also led to two kidney transplants being carried out on patients from the region.

Dr. Benjamin Thomson, from Queen’s University Division of Nephrology, Kingston General Hospital in Canada, believes the meeting will be “the start of many long-term relationships that will lead to new friendships and projects, advancing education in all areas of health care, especially for patients with kidney disease. Furthermore, the ongoing partnership with ISN will improve the delivery of clinical care across Palestine.”

The meeting was hosted by Al Najah University in Nablus and Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza. It is part of comprehensive training program for healthcare professionals from Palestine on all aspects of nephrology and kidney transplantation. Surgeons, nephrologists, nurses, transplant coordinators, and laboratory technicians will travel to Royal Liverpool University Hospital for further structured training.

Thomson adds: “the conference means that more meetings and educational commitments and connections are crucial to continue to alleviate the multiple challenges faced by the resilient and determined Palestinian physicians.”

The team of physicians from Liverpool including Dr. Abdelkadder Hammad, Dr. Derek Middleton, Dr. Howida Shawki and Dr. Sanjay Mehra demonstrated “great efficiency, kindness, and insight.” Thomson says: “Dr. Hammad and Dr. Mehra, in addition to presenting half the talks at the conference, also performed two kidney transplants.”

During the week, Dr. Thomson was joined by a team of specialists including Dr.  Middleton, Dr. Said, Dr. Hammad, who presented talks on renal pathology, kidney transplantation, chronic kidney disease, vasculitis, and peritoneal dialysis. The talks were supported by important contributions from Dr. Howida Shawki (Liverpool University), and Dr. Nabil Sultan and Dr. Peter Blake (Western University, London, Canada). The audience included medical students, residents, nurses, and specialist physicians.

This successful meeting was made possible thanks to a growing ISN-TTS Sister Renal Center partnership between the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, UK and the Al Shifa Hospital Gaza, Palestine. In January 2013, the collaboration led to the first kidney transplant operation and a further 22 kidney transplants in the region. CLICK HERE.

The ISN-TTS Sister Transplant Center Program is a joint partnership set up between ISN and The Transplantation Society (TTS) to create new kidney transplant centers and develop existing kidney transplant programs in emerging countries. Following the success of the ISN Sister Renal Center Program, this initiative encourages transplant centers to work together to increase opportunities for kidney transplant patients in developing countries.

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