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Wednesday, 02 April 2014 12:28

Collaboration leads to transplant hope for kidney patients in Palestine Featured

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Gaza transplants photos by Craig Stennett webUntil recently, there were no transplant services available in Gaza. About 500 adult patients and 20 children were on chronic hemodialysis and only those who could afford to travel away could benefit from this treatment.

Change is on the horizon now thanks to the ISN-TTS Sister Transplant Center Program. A partnership between the Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza, Palestine and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital in the UK led to the first kidney transplant in the region in January 2013 - giving the Liverpool team the credibility to influence decision makers regarding transplantation in Gaza.

Gaza transplants photos by Craig Stennett 3 webThree kidney transplants were carried out, including one on a child. This has increased the total to eight transplants, three of them being pediatric. Abdul Hammad from the supporting center in the UK explains that a plasma exchange technician also helped train staff: “We started a Renal IT system, and hopefully once these are installed in every nephrology center in Gaza we can start a Renal Registry, a national transplant waiting list for kidney transplantation.”

“The Clinical Director at the Liverpool Transplant Unit has already initiated direct engagement with the Gaza Ministry of Health, Critical Care Speciality, and Members of the Legislative Council, to build the framework for organ donation,” say ISN-TTS Sister Transplant Center Program Chairs Paul Harden and Jeremy Chapman.

Previously there were high rates of mortality for dialysis patients in Gaza, especially during the war. “These patients may receive what is in many westernized countries a ‘life enhancing operation’, but in Gaza it will undoubtedly be a ‘life-saving operation,“ says Hammad.

The ISN-TTS Sister Transplant Center Program is a recent joint partnership between ISN and The Transplantation Society (TTS) to create new kidney transplant centers and develop existing kidney transplant programs in emerging countries. Following the success of the ISN Sister Renal Center Program, this initiative encourages transplant centers to increase opportunities for kidney transplant patients in developing countries. CLICK HERE for more information.

Photos are courtesy of Craig Stennett. This article appears in the February 2014 edition of ISN News, CLICK HERE.

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  • Guest - victor

    Shifa Hospital is best known for housing the headquarters of the world class terror organization Hamas.
    ISN should be more carefull on allowing ISN be used for thinly veiled political purposes. That hurts the ISN and does not make one more transplant occur there.
    Gazans requiring transplants are allowed to cross into Israel and get their transplants there.
    Where are the guys worried about Shifa Hospital when thingsHamas uses Shifa for housing terrorist activities. If there would not be rockets fired from there on innocent civilians I am sure that there would be no problems with transplants or dialyisis in Gaza (which by the way is not "Palestine")

  • As Executive Director of the ISN, I do not agree with the views expressed by Victor in a previous comment. The ISN is strongly engaged in supporting kidney patients wherever they are, without any consideration of political opportunity. The Sister Transplant Center relationship described in the article does not in any way endorse one or the other party in this particular conflict, but rather provides much needed relief to individual patients in need of kidney transplantation in Gaza. We also recognize the merit of care generously offered by Israeli hospital to Palestinian patients, and are actively working with the Israeli Society of Nephrology and our Middle East Regional Board to plan further activities directed to improve kidney care in the region.

    from Brussels, Belgium

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