The offering of free kidney transplants at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) is on the horizon. However, preceding this ambitious objective is the fostering of strategic partnerships and the imperative training of local personnel.
This development was recently emphasised by Director of the Institute of Health Science Education at GPHC, Dr Madan Rambaran, during an interview with this publication. He is optimistic that measures could be put in place to facilitate kidney transplants at the public hospital in the New Year. “I think within the next year we should have most of the recommendations in place and we can start the first transplant.”
Among the recommendations that must be put in place ahead of such operations is the capacity to undertake tests to ascertain whether a donor’s kidney is compatible with the recipient. The GPHC will also have to build capacity to discern kidney rejection. “We have to have those measures in place before we embark on actual transplant,” Dr. Rambaran explained.
Currently, the main renal causative factors are diabetes and hypertension and there are some patients, the GPHC Director said, who may develop the disease because of some form of infection.
Already the GPHC has in place a registry for renal patients and has the capacity to undertake intervening measures such as the insertion of catheters, even as efforts are being made to master the establishment of fistulas to do dialysis.
However, full dialysis can be accessed at the 5 G Dialysis Centre, South Ruimveldt, Georgetown and the Doobay Renal Centre, East Coast Demerara.
However, Dr. Rambaran asserted that the impact of renal disease requires, at some point, renal replacement therapy, in some shape or form, which may require transplantation and not just dialysis alone.
Moreover, the GPHC has been collaborating with the University of Calgary in Canada and the Doobay Renal Centre at Annandale, East Coast Demerara. The latter facility, which is a not-for-profit entity, has been partnering with other medical facilities in Canada such as the McMaster University that are willing to support the free kidney transplant venture.
This collaboration, according to Dr. Rambaran, will not only cater to the facilitation of the initial kidney operations but also a great deal to the educational aspect of local medical personnel.
In this regard, a few doctors from the public hospital have been identified for training in nephrology at the McMaster University. “This will be part of their post-graduate training…they will get two months rotation at McMaster and we are hoping to start from next year; more or less that is in place. We will have at least three people over the year going for two months sessions,” Dr. Rambaran disclosed.
Added to this, he said that the GPHC, through its collaborations, currently has a graduate of the local Post Graduate Surgical programme undergoing a fellowship in Transplant surgery to deal with nephrology at the University of Calgary. Other graduates, on completion of an Internal Medicine programme with the University of McMaster, will also be expected to commence fellowships in nephrology.
“So we are starting to build our local capacity so that the transplant programme we are planning will be sustainable by having our own people trained in the physician and surgeon stream of dealing with renal failure,” noted the GPHC Director.
In the interim, he revealed that the GPHC will continue to benefit from visiting medical experts including doctors, nurses and technicians who will facilitate training.
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