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ISN Interventional Nephrology Training Program Yields Breakthroughs in Kidney Care for Cameroon

Ronald Gobina trained through the ISN Interventional Nephrology Scholarship Program for four weeks at the South West Thames Renal and Transplantation Unit at St Helier Hospital in London, UK.

Dr. Gobina recently contacted the ISN to tell us how he applied his newly acquired skills to enhance the quality of kidney care at the Regional Hospital in Buea, South West Cameroon.

From London to Cameroon: the impact of my ISN Interventional Nephrology Training – by Dr. Ronald Gobina

“I am so grateful for the opportunity the ISN granted me. It was a major turning point in my professional life. And these are not just words; my host mentor, Bhrigu Sood, and his team know their stuff and were more than open to teaching me. Although my training involved observing procedures and practicing them on simulators rather than working hands-on with patients, my practice as a nephrologist has completely changed thanks to this scholarship.

Dr. Gobina practicing ultrasound-guided interventional nephrology procedures at St Helier Hospital

Applying new interventional nephrology skills in Cameroon

I previously had daily access to an ultrasound machine but never performed a fully ultrasound-guided CVC placement. After training with Dr. Sood at St Helier Hospital, this has become a daily practice for me here at the Regional Hospital in Buea, South West Cameroon. I am teaching this skill to a junior colleague.

The best thing to happen is that since the end of May 2023, we have initiated acute peritoneal dialysis (PD) for children at my hospital.

This would not have been possible without my month-long ISN Interventional Nephrology Scholarship at St. Helier Hospital. We adapted local materials for PD, and it seems to be working just fine. I intend to share my experiences with the wider scientific community to get feedback to continue improving quality and outcomes.

[Read more about implementing dialysis in low-resource settings in the “ISN Framework for Dialysis” brochure.]

Four-year-old Blaise, one of Dr. Gobina’s patients (shared with permission)

Making waves in pediatric nephrology

Our success stories are making waves, and we now have referrals from all over the country. It appears we are the only providers of PD in Cameroon.

Blaise, pictured above during a review visit a week after discharge (photo shared with permission), is a four-year-old boy who presented with anuric acute kidney injury from severe malaria. He had been anuric for over four days and was uremic. He had PD with locally made solutions with excellent clinical outcomes.

Just last week, we had another positive experience outcome; little Daniella was discharged after a week with us. Her mom was overjoyed to see her daughter come out of a one-week coma and gradually recover her kidney function. These successes inspire my commitment, and I aim to help more children overcome AKI – it should not be a death sentence.

From left to right: Bhrigu Sood, Ronald Gobina, Subash Somalanka and Pritpal Verdee at the South West Thames Renal and Transplantation Unit at St Helier Hospital in London

A vision for tomorrow

My hospital administration has been discussing the possibility of establishing an ISN Sister Renal Centers partnership with the team at St. Helier Hospital in the UK. This would help us to develop a comprehensive PD and interventional nephrology program in Cameroon.

My dream is to set up an interventional nephrology center in my hospital for patient care and training in the African sub-region and beyond. I’m currently engaged in discussions with hospital administrators and political stakeholders to explore avenues for realizing this vision.

Once again, thank you. Thank you for the fellowship opportunity in the UK. Your guidance was perfect. And, of course, the ISN is my superhero!”

Join the ISN to support global kidney health initiatives

Dr. Gobina’s journey is just one of the many success stories made possible by ISN Grants. These programs are dedicated to improving accessible kidney care worldwide.

Discover more about ISN Grants and their impact here.

You can also be a part of this ever-growing movement by joining the ISN.

With the support of our members, the ISN continues to advance global kidney health.



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