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Friday, 28 October 2011 09:37

First CME in Zambia

I just returned from the first ever ISN Global Outreach (GO) Continuing Medical Education (CME) course in Lusaka, Zambia. The ISN GO CME delegation included myself, Bill Couser, Chair of ISN GO, Sarala Naicker, Chair of the GO Educational Ambassadors Program and Andre Weigert from Lisbon, a member of the Africa Regional committee.


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Mozambique-MOHThe course was attended by about 90 nurses, final year medical students and medical doctors (most of which were postgraduate students). Until this meeting, most of the participants were unaware of how much nephrology had to offer. Enthusiasm was high and participants were very much looking forward to more CMEs in the country.

From October 6 to 16, 2011, the ISN GO CME program organized  a CME lecture tour in Africa covering Mozambique, Zambia, Nairobi and Kenya. The first of these seminars was opened by the Health Minister of Mozambique Alexandre Manguele, a public health specialist.

In Mozambique, no trained nephrologists are present but the visit generated interest from several potential applicants to the ISN GO Fellowship Program. Hemodialysis is performed on a limited number of patients in the medicine department. It was remarkable that all day long lectures were also attended by the Dean of the Medical Faculty, a cardiologist.

Couser-CME-ZambiaOn October, 10, we arrived in Lusaka, Zambia and were greeted by Aggrey Mweemba, who is a former ISN Fellow trained in Johannesburg and one of the few nephrologists in Zambia. Aggrey is now Director of the Renal Unit, Consultant Nephrologist at the University Hospital in Lusaka and was the local organiser of the CME.

He also organized our visit to the Zambian Department of Health where we discussed the importance of chronic kidney disease and early detection and prevention programs in the overall struggle against chronic non-communicable diseases in low-income countries.

Once again, we were gratified to note the remarkable and continuing impact of the ISN GO Programs in advancing nephrology in Africa. By training new leaders such as Aggrey Mweemba and “seeding” clinical nephrology programs that were non-existent before, the knowledge and capacity of local centers is improving. Much credit for this goes to the local hosts and leaders of the Africa Regional Committee that have initiated and facilitated these efforts.

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