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Monday, 22 January 2018 14:32

Celebration and progress in Bangladesh

Last week, I received a very warm welcome from the Bangladesh Renal Association and the Kidney Foundation of Bangladesh in Dhaka. Great to see nephrology in Bangladesh on the move, under determined and effective leadership!

It was a pleasure presenting the 2017 South Asia Pioneer Award to Harun Ur Rashid alongside the Director General of Health Services, a physician who spoke with commitment and insight about the importance of improving kidney care, the Minister of Culture of Bangladesh, as well many of Harun’s colleagues, and past and present students.

Bangladesh leaders Dhaka

I share their admiration for Harun’s career and his long line of achievements in developing nephrology in Bangladesh and the surrounding region, which include overseeing the first kidney transplant in Bangladesh. He also established and led the Kidney Foundation of Bangladesh. Over 15 years, the foundation helped set up a major hospital, exclusively supported by public donations, and provides excellent subsidised kidney care to all, including the most disadvantaged people of Bangladesh.

I also joined Harun, ISN Councillor Muhib Rahman and President of the Bangladesh Renal Association Muhammad Rafiqul Alam for a roundtable discussion, meeting some of the country’s nephrology leaders and a senior representative from the Health Ministry.

Bangladesh round table dhaka

There was real dialogue and encouraging evidence of the ministry's commitment to make important changes. This includes properly integrating chronic kidney disease (CKD) into the country’s non-communicable disease strategy and training more staff at community health centers so that targeted CKD screening can be more consistently available. Exploring how peritoneal dialysis solutions are produced within the country will reduce costs, an important block in the widespread adoption of chronic ambulatory peritoneal dialysis.

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