Back to News

ISN Ambassador Visit Drives Significant Progress in Kidney Care Services in Brazzaville, Congo

In March, ISN Educational Ambassador (EA) Professor Faiçal Jarraya (Tunisia) spent a week visiting the University Center Hospital (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire-CHU) in Brazzaville, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with support from the ISN Educational Ambassadors Program (EAP).

From left to right: ISN Ambassador Professor Faiçal Jarraya alongside CHU staff Dr. Bakala Clothyn, head of the nephrology department Professor Loumingou, and Dr. Gandzali Ngabe Pierre Eric

A closer look at kidney care challenges in the Congo

According to Professor Jarraya, there are many challenges to kidney care development in the Congo: There is limited public awareness of kidney disease and its risk factors, a scarcity of nephrologists (only ten per 5 to 6 million inhabitants), inadequate training for nephrologists and technicians, absence of renal biopsy services, limited availability of hemodialysis treatment, no peritoneal dialysis except through the SYL program, only eight dialysis units across three cities, no kidney transplants, a lack of national statistics on kidney disease prevalence, and no kidney care-related scientific society to support nephrologists.

Identifying the way forward

Professor Jarraya’s visit began with a tour of the hospital’s nephrology department alongside members of the kidney care team to assess patients and gauge areas of concern. Together, they identified key areas to develop:

  • Enhancing renal pathology services
  • Advocating for the establishment of a hemodialysis unit
  • Creating a national scientific society for nephrologists and nurses
  • Initiating epidemiological studies on chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the Congo
  • Increasing awareness about kidney diseases

Staff from the kidney care department at the CHU in Brazzaville during the two-day scientific program

Scientific content to address local needs   

The visit incorporated a two-day scientific meeting, “Kidney Disease and Its Management in Congo: A Step Forward.” The program was presented in French.

The primary learning objectives were to train nurses and retrain nephrologists in renal pathology, to advance hemodialysis treatment, and to improve the prevention, early detection, and treatment of kidney disease.

The program included sessions on hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, renal damage in cardio and diabetic patients, and strategies for dealing with CKD in the Congo.

Local press interview Dr. Pierre Eric Gandzali Ngabe (far left), who helped organize the EAP visit and scientific meeting

Significant progress toward improved kidney care services

According to Professor Jarraya, since the visit, significant headway toward improving kidney care in the region has been made:

  • The construction of a new hemodialysis center at the university hospital has been approved
  • World Kidney Day data has been used to gather CKD statistics for Brazzaville
  • Training in kidney biopsy is underway with internships at the Sfax University Hospital in Tunisia
  • Efforts to collaborate with cardiologists and diabetologists to enhance early CKD detection are ongoing
  • Hemodialysis knowledge has improved, with an increased understanding of water treatment and managing complications
  • Plans for collaborative pediatric nephrology initiatives are being explored with centers in Tunisia

In addition, a Congolese nephrology association with ISN affiliation is in development. Plans for a virtual symposium in 2025 to consolidate progress are under consideration.


The visit was reported on in local media outlets, including a televised evening news program, which helped highlight the region’s kidney care challenges.

Help us advance kidney health worldwide
Join the ISN Subscribe to ISN Newsletter
Back to News