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Kidney Care Center in Bosnia and Herzegovina Performs Majority of Transplants and Patient Follow-ups in the Country After Support Through the ISN-SRC Program

Staff from the University Clinical Center and the Royal Preston Hospital Renal Departments at a biopsy course organized at the UCC through the ISN SRC and Educational Ambassador Programs

The renal department at the University Clinical Center (UCC) in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Renal Department at the Royal Preston Hospital (RDRP) in Preston, United Kingdom, have graduated after an eight-year partnership through the ISN Sister Renal Centers (SRC) Program.

The partnership’s main goal was to develop transplant services at UCC, focusing on improving workup for living donors and recipients.

Six nephrologists and three specialist nurses from the RDRP visited the UCC to provide training through live lectures, clinical rounds, outpatient clinics, and specially organized workshops.

Four members of the nephrology team at UCC traveled to RDRP, including three nephrologists who spent six months in ISN Fellowships there, undertaking different courses in nephrology, dialysis, and transplantation.

In 2019, ISN Educational Ambassador, Dr. Ahmed Aimun, spent a week at the UCC to give training on glomerular diseases with hands-on training in kidney biopsy. In addition, Dr. Aimun organized visits from two transplant surgeons from Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) to the UCC to supervise transplant operations and share their valuable expertise.

The RDRP also donated an ultrasound machine to the UCC to carry out real-time kidney biopsies.

The two teams collaborated on and published five scientific papers during the SRC Program, published in peer-reviewed journals. They presented some of their findings at the World Congress of Nephrology in Mexico in 2017.

During COVID-19-related restrictions, the collaboration continued with the UCC attending RDRP weekly meetings online. The teams organized a live hybrid meeting in 2021 with lecturers from Preston, Manchester, and Sheffield.

As a result of the support from RDRP, the UCC has now become a renowned referral center for transplantation in Bosnia: Out of three transplant centers in Bosnia, it is the only one regularly performing unrelated living renal transplantation (spouses) and higher immunological risk transplantations including retransplantations. The center now performs the most transplants (including from deceased donors) and patient follow-ups in the country.

Services involved in transplantation medicine, such as pre-dialysis, anemia, dialysis, and vascular access, have also improved at the UCC during the collaboration, as well as chronic kidney disease treatment and general nephrology practice.

The benefits of the partnership went beyond the renal unit at the UCC to include the urology, immunology, pathology, microbiology, and pediatric departments: The transplant surgeon from MRI made an educational visit to the urology department where kidney transplants are performed. One of the physicians from RDRP accompanied staff from the UCC to visit regions with high levels of Balkan endemic nephropathy.

Professor Enisa Mesic, the SRC liaison officer at the UCC, comments: “We have had achievements, success, and satisfaction in a fruitful and mutually beneficial professional relationship between Tuzla and Preston!”


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