Saving Young Lives

Saving Young Lives (SYL): A Partnership to deliver sustainable acute PD for AKI.

SYL works in low-resource areas to help establish and maintain hospital services for the care of AKI, including facilities for acute PD.

SYL focuses on providing training and educational activities in the community to improve awareness and equip local health practitioners to prevent and identify cases needing hospital care.

SYL is made up of four equal partners, each bringing complementary missions and expertise to the initiative:


  • IPNA (International Pediatric Nephrology Association)
  • ISN (International Society of Nephrology)
  • ISPD (International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis)
  • EuroPD (European Peritoneal Dialysis)

Since 2012, SYL has helped local nephrologists in very low-resource settings to develop sustainable programs to provide acute PD for AKI patients.

To date, over 284 doctors and nurses have received training through SYL programs in hospitals across Africa, South Asia, South East Asia, and Latin America.


Upcoming Courses


The following courses are scheduled for 2020:

February 17-21, 2020
SYL Renal Skills Course
Red Cross Children’s Hospital, Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA

July 2020
SYL PD Workshop
Yangon and Mandalay Children’s Hospitals, MYANMAR

September 2020
SYL PD Workshop

October 2020
SYL PD Workshop
ALANEPE Meeting, Mexico City, MEXICO

If you would like to know more about the SYL Initiative or would like to organize training in your region, contact us via the contact section below.


Saving Young Lives develops sustainable programs for the prevention and treatment of AKI by:

Ensuring accessibility to PD supplies

Where possible, SYL assists hospitals in accessing affordable commercial PD fluid. Where this is not an option, SYL supports the use of locally prepared PD fluids (as recommended by the ISPD guidelines: PD for AKI).

Providing tailor-made training and education

Physicians and nurses need continuous training to maintain a PD program. SYL assesses the needs of a new site and develops a training program based on sustainable outcomes. This often involves training physicians who have no practical experience in peritoneal catheter insertion or arranging for experts to visit on-site to provide hands-on training to local staff.

Raising awareness of AKI among the medical community

SYL supports local teams to increase awareness of AKI in the local medical community, emphasizing improved outcomes if AKI is detected early and managed well, and the need to identify cases requiring dialysis and to transfer them to the PD center.

Advocating for access to care of AKI

As part of the ISN 0by25 Human Rights Initiative, SYL teams work locally, regionally, and internationally to raise awareness of acute PD among policymakers and health professionals as a successful and cost-effective therapy for severe AKI in low-resource settings.

Voices from the Field

Read what SYL alumni have to say about their practical PD training experiences:

Adebowale Ademola,  University College, Nigeria
“This was easily one of the most comprehensive courses I have attended in terms of relevance, content, organization, hospitality, and warmth…My center carries out peritoneal dialysis using adapted catheters. I have been inspired to continue to provide peritoneal dialysis and to work in collaboration with others to improve our peritoneal dialysis services.”

Anthony Batte, Pediatrician/Nephrologist, Uganda:
“This training was very important, it provided me with the skills and also the inspiration to find ways of setting up a functional peritoneal dialysis program in Uganda.”

Abel Tsighe, Intern, Ethiopia
“I think the course is truly remarkable in enabling doctors all over Africa to better treat our renal patients to the maximum we can.
It gave us new perspectives and a whole new horizon of looking at nephrology.
All I know is my practice has now changed for the better, forever.
Thank you for this tremendous opportunity to attend the course, and please keep up the good work of training African doctors.
With this project, I believe Saving Young Lives is truly saving young lives in Africa.”

Watch the video to see the project in action:

Saving Young Lives from ISN Education on Vimeo.


Coming soon!

Training Manuals
Coming soon!

Data Collection

Data is critical in proving the impact of the Saving Young Lives project.


Since 2012, hospitals that have received SYL training have collected PD data to help improve our understanding of the causes and outcomes of AKI in local and regional areas. More importantly, this data helps build a case outlining the importance of PD to present to policymakers, health professionals, and relevant organizations.

As of 2020, data of 415 PD cases have been collected across 15 SYL-trained sites worldwide.

If you have received SYL training and would like to contribute data, please contact us to be included in our online database.

Data Collection Video Tutorial: click here to view

Latest Publications

“Peritoneal Dialysis to Treat Patients with Acute Kidney Injury—The Saving Young Lives Experience in West Africa: Proceedings of the Saving Young Lives Session at the First International Conference of Dialysis in West Africa, Dakar, Senegal, December 2015”

Authors: Niang Abdou, Sampson Antwi, Laurence Adonis Koffi, Francis Lalya, Victoria May Adabayeri, Norah Nyah, Dennis Palmer, Ariane Brusselmans, Brett Cullis, John Feehally, Mignon McCulloch, William Smoyer, and Fredric O. Finkelstein
Reference: Perit Dial Int (March-April 2017) vol. 37 no. 2 155-158

“Saving Young Lives” with acute kidney injury: the challenge of acute dialysis in low-resource settings

Authors: William E. Smoyer, Fredric O. Finkelstein, Mignon I. McCulloch, Mary Carter, Ariane Brusselmans, John Feehally
Reference: Kidney International (February 2016) 89, 254-256

Saving Young Lives: provision of acute dialysis in low-resource settings

Authors: William E Smoyer, Fredric O Finkelstein, Mignon McCulloch, Mary Carter, Ariane Brusselmans, John Feehally
Reference: Horton, R. Offline: Breaking the silence in nephrology. Lancet. 2015; 385:1058

Peritoneal Dialysis, Acute Kidney Injury, and the Saving Young Lives Program

Authors: Fredric O. Finkelstein, William E. Smoyer, Mary Carter, Ariane Brusselmans, and John Feehally
Reference: Perit Dial Int July-August 201434:478-480;

Support the SYL Initiative

There are currently 11 SYL centers in Africa, 4 SYL centers in Asia, and 1 SYL center now launching in Latin America.

These centers are supported through generous grants and in-kind contributions from various organizations, but other centers are still waiting to get started.

SYL needs your help to support more sites in these regions and to continue to expand the initiative on other continents.

For any inquiries on the Saving Young Lives project, please contact the SYL Coordinator at

The SYL Steering Committee

Brett Cullis (Chair),

Fredric Finkelstein,

Simon Davies,

Mignon McCulloch,

William Smoyer,

Regional Advisors

Kim Yap,
South East Asia

Abdou Niang,
Western Africa

Nicola Wearne,
South Africa

Stefano Picca,
Central America & Africa

Arvind Bagga,
South Asia