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Friday, 15 December 2017 11:59

The value of prevention for medical students in Uganda Featured

By  Gavin Dreyer
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Every year, 72 doctors from around the world spend 12 weeks in East Africa on the Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene course run by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The key lessons for the students are the role of early detection and prevention of kidney disease rather than how to run a dialysis unit.

I teach during the non-communicable disease themed week when 12 students spend time on the renal ward and dialysis unit of Kampala’s major teaching hospital. The purpose of the renal week is to teach about some of the core aspects of nephrology and practical skills that will be useful to students if they work in resource-limited settings, but it’s also a chance to meet patients with kidney disease, their carers and the staff who look after them.

We spend less time on the mechanics of a dialysis machine and more time listening to the patient journey and the experiences of living with kidney disease in Uganda. This helps the students understand the devastating impact that kidney disease in resource-limited settings can have not just on patients but their families as well.

ISN supports a growing number of Ugandan doctors who have decided to train in nephrology and the impact they are having on kidney disease in Uganda’s hospitals and beyond grows year on year.

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