Kidney Transplant in Ethiopia

Let’s us congratulate the team at St. Paul’s Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the Transplant Team at the University of Michigan, and every one involved, for performing the first kidney transplants in Ethiopia on three people who received kidneys from living donors in September 2015.

Here are some facts about dialysis and kidney transplant to give you a perspective

-Dr. Willem Kolff is considered the father of dialysis. He constructed the first dialyzer (artificial kidney) in 1943 working at the University of Groningen Hospital in the Netherlands.
-In 1946 the first successful use of “peritoneal irrigation” which would later advance to peritoneal dialysis, was reported in the US. Several physicians/scientists were involved.
-After World War II ended, Kolff donated the five artificial kidneys he’d made to hospitals in London, Amsterdam, Poland, and New York City (the Mount Sinai Hospital) which is where the first human dialysis in the United States was done on January 26, 1948.
-The first dialysis machine built in Africa was in South Africa in 1957. It was used in 2 patients with acute renal failure.
-In 1958, dialysis was also used in Cairo to treat a woman with kidney failure.
-Cairo and Johannesburg University hospitals used dialysis in the early 60s followed shortly by Tunisia, Algeria, Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan, Libya, Zimbabwe, and Morocco.
-8 African countries had the resources to achieve-sustained national program capable of 100 dialysis patients per a million populations fully covered by the government in state hospitals and partially cover the cost in private dialysis units. These are Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, South Africa, Mauritius, and Gabon. Sudan and Mauritania have reached 75 dialysis patients per million.
-Peritoneal dialysis accounts for 10% of dialysis population in Kenya, 20% in Uganda, 34% in Zambia, South Africa and Senegal, 41% in Sudan, 56% in Democratic republic of Congo, and 60% in Rwanda.
-There are now 13 countries with kidney transplant program in Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia and now Ethiopia.
-It is estimated that there are less than 2000 nephrologists in Africa for a population of over a billion.
-Formal nephrology training programs are currently recognized in 5 countries: Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Nigeria.

The situation in Ethiopia

-A kidney unit was opened in Tikur Anbessa ( Black Lion) Hospital, Addis Ababa in 1980 with the assistance of a Cuban team from the Institute of Nephrology in Havana.
-The first peritoneal dialysis was done in Ethiopia in April 1980 and the first hemodialysis was done in June 1981
-The first private dialysis unit opened in Ethiopia in 2001
-Two public hospitals offer hemodialysis for acute renal failure
-A transplant program has just started at St Paul’s Hospital with the help of the transplant team at the University of Michigan

Am J Kidney Dis. 2015; 65 (3):502-512

About Tenayistilign

I am a physician trained at Jimma Institute of Health Sciences ( now Jimma University, in Jimma, Ethiopia) and Wayne State University ( Detroit, MI, USA). I teach and practice General Nephrology/Hypertension and Kidney Transplantation in the USA.
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1 Response to Kidney Transplant in Ethiopia

  1. Solomie says:

    Thank you Surafel for sharing , We indeed have applauded for the big achievement of the St.Paul team .Always the beginning is important ! And beginners are risk takers , pioneers and they show that it is possible to do what is seemingly impossible.

    Solomie J

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