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The ISN’s Pioneering Role in Advancing Interventional Nephrology in Cuba

The ISN was pleased to support the inaugural “Primer Curso Cubano de Nefrología Intervencionista” (First Cuban Course on Interventional Nephrology) in September through its Continuing Medical Education and Educational Ambassadors Programs.

Find out more about ISN interventional nephrology training opportunities here.

Hosted by the Cuban Society of Nephrology at the Hospital Clínico Quirúrgico Lucía Iñiguez Landín in Holguín, this landmark event brought together a diverse group of medical professionals to advance interventional nephrology (IN) practices in Cuba. It was the first time IN training had been offered in the country.

Lázaro Ibrain Cobiellas Carballo was the lead organizer of the event. Dr. Cobiellas trained for three months through an ISN IN Scholarship at the Ignacio Chávez National Institute of Cardiology in Mexico City in 2022-2023, under the supervision of Bernardo Moguel Gonzalez. He returned to Holguín, keen to put into practice the knowledge he had gained from the training.

Dr. Cobiellas monitors a student practicing ultrasound on a live model

Course participants: Shaping the future of Cuban kidney care

With 30 participants engaging in hands-on training and an additional 60 attending online sessions, the course attracted younger professionals (average age 33 years old) from across Cuba: nephrologists, nephrology fellows, and allied health professionals.

Dr. Juan Santacruz Mancheno demonstrates the use of ultrasound-guidance for vein canulation using a pig model

Course highlights: Combining online and hands-on learning

The hybrid format of the course enabled renowned faculty members Bernardo Moguel Gonzalez and Brenda Cortez Flores from Mexico and Juan Santacruz Mancheno from Ecuador to contribute to the online and onsite training.

An ultrasound machine and anatomical models made from pig meat and kidneys provided a safe environment for procedure practice during the hands-on training sessions.

Tunneled hemodialysis catheter placement, peritoneal dialysis catheter insertion, and US-guided kidney biopsy emerged as the most popular and well-attended sessions.

Impact on IN Practices: Empowering Cuban nephrologists and raising awareness

Meeting participants are equipped to begin implementing IN procedures at their home institutions, improving overall IN practices in the country.

In addition, the meeting generated significant regional media attention, shedding light on the critical shortage of interventional nephrologists in lower-resource settings and the unfortunate reality that patients sometimes forego necessary dialysis treatment due to vascular access challenges.

Read about the First Cuban Course on Interventional Nephrology in the local press:

Additional activities and future prospects: Expanding IN initiatives in Cuba

Dr. Mancheno visited the transplant service at Lucía Iñiguez Landín Clinical Surgical Hospital. Meetings with local nephrology societies and the President of the Cuban Society of Nephrology were held to discuss the development of Cuba’s first IN Department, set to launch later this year.

A round table session explored strategies to improve subspecialty IN within the Cuban context. It’s hoped that IN will shortly be included as a module within Nephrology Fellowship training in Cuba.

Course participants were eager for additional training opportunities, particularly in the country’s western region. Plans are in motion to organize a pre-congress course on interventional nephrology at the National Congress of the Cuban Society of Nephrology, scheduled for March 2024.

A student  performs an ultrasound-guided kidney biopsy using a apig model under guidance from Dr. Cobiellas

Fostering growth: The ISN’s commitment to advancing Cuban kidney care

The ISN’s support for the First Cuban Course on interventional nephrology highlights its commitment to advancing nephrology education and practice globally.

As these initiatives develop in Cuba, they promise to enhance the quality of kidney care and research, benefiting patients and healthcare professionals alike.

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