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SYL training comes to the rescue of young AKI patients in Africa

Saving Young Lives (SYL) recently sent a pediatric nephrologist and a nurse from the University of Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on a month’s visit to the University of Cotonou (Benin). It helped the Congolese doctors and nurses learn more the latest catheter insertion techniques so they can set up a peritoneal dialysis (PD) service to treat children with acute kidney injury (AKI) more effectively when back in their country.

Until now, there was a dire need for dialysis consumables, and most importantly, training to carry the catheter insertion procedure on young children. SYL donated a set of catheters to start the program and guarantee more sustainable care.

A dialysis team is now in place at the University of Kinshasa. Doctors have cared for four children already and are making their own fluids, as they learned to do so in Cotonou thanks to this partnership.

Dr Pepe Ekulu, from the University of Kinshasa, says that the life of a 7-year-old boy with uremic encephalopathy was saved thanks to this SYL support.

He explains that this case illustrates the difficulties faced in managing AKI the communities: ‘Since the parents have no financial means to pay, it is difficult to get the renal function measures and the blood ionogram.’

There is still a lot of work to be done to develop a sustainable program. However, Prof. François Lepira Bompeka from University of Kinshasa adds: ‘Our project is already starting to give hope to caregivers and parents of our little patients. This indicates that we are on the right track and we must persevere.’

This story is a great example of the SYL collaboration between ISN, the International Pediatric Nephrology Association, the International Society of Peritoneal Dialysis and EUROPD who are encouraging countries across Africa to work together and build more partnerships with other global health programs.

It reiterates the role of SYL within ISN’s 0by25 initiative, stipulating that nobody should die of AKI by 2025. Read more HERE.

The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) and University of Kinshasa work together on the VLIR project to build and set up the infrastructure to test PD treatments.

Find out more about Saving Young Lives, HERE. Watch the video about the challenges faced to sustain a PD program at University of Cotonou.

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