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SRC and STC Pairs Continue their Work Virtually Despite COVID-19 Epidemic

Despite global restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Sister Renal Centers (SRC) and Sister Transplant Centers (ISN-TTS STC) partnerships have continued to collaborate within the programs over the last few months through interactive webinars. Recordings of these sessions are available for ISN members on the ISN Academy.

Health professionals at the University Hospital Center in Tirana, Albania, congregate for a webinar

Albania & Germany Sister-Centers Partners:

The SRC partnership between the Service of Nephrology at the University Hospital Center “Mother Teresa” in Tirana, Albania, and the Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology at the University Hospital in Würzburg, Germany, began in 2020 at Level C (entry-level). Once COVID-19-related restrictions were in place, the two teams decided to collaborate through a year-long series of interactive webinars between the centers, in place of the usual training visits.

The first webinar, “Improve Access to Early Diagnosis for CKD,” held in May, focused on the “National Program for Prevention of CKD.” Launched in 2016, this initiative aims to raise awareness of kidney diseases in the general population in Albania, as well as to improve and extend PD, living donation, and deceased donation programs. The teams are optimistic that the support from the Clinic of Nephrology in Wurzburg, through the ISN SRC program, will help them to achieve these objectives.

A second interactive webinar in June centered on the treatment of diabetic kidney disease, and an upcoming webinar is scheduled for the Autumn.

Nigeria & USA Sister-Centers Partners: 

A five-hour webinar was held by SRC partner centers at Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital in Nigeria and the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) in the USA, on Sunday, July 12, 2020.

More than ten speakers from Nigeria, the UK, and the USA provided updates on how they had responded to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, with a special focus on pediatric services.

The supporting center shared first-hand experiences on the management of the pandemic in CHAM, NYC, the clinical manifestations of COVID-19, and the effects of COVID-19 on the kidneys. The emerging center presented the experience on the management of adult and pediatric COVID-19 in Nigeria and the development of new lifestyle measures for COVID-19 prevention.

111 participants attended the webinar, including over 50 health professionals from Nigeria. The course was ranked as ‘excellent’ by all the participants. Future webinars are currently under planning.

Philippines & Spain Sister-Centers Partners:

The ISN-TTS STC partnership between the South Philippine Medical Center (SPMSC) in the Philippines, the University of Barcelona (UB), and the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona (HCB) in Spain also adapted their program of collaboration to take place online and reflect current concerns.

Having successfully progressed to level A since the partnership began in 2016, the pair were keen to continue evolving through the final stage of the partnership. The teams considered potential options for growth and decided to organize a series of webinars addressing nephrology issues during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The first two webinars took place on June 11 and June 19, 2020.

The exchange was particularly useful as the HCB had gained experience in managing the pandemic earlier than their colleagues in the Philippines. Having passed through the crisis stage, they were able to support SPMCS in implementing effective strategies and practices to manage the outbreak.

Entela Kondi, from the supporting center, commented on the first webinar, “Great audience and good interaction. We all believe it was a very good start.”

The ISN is proud to provide a platform for the international community to share resources, guidance, and experiences in times of crisis. Become an ISN member and support our work.

Listen to all the available webinars here.

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