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ISN Educational Ambassador assists in developing kidney transplantation in Thailand

ISN Educational Ambassador Shlomo Cohney from Melbourne, Australia recently visited Khon Kaen hospital in Thailand. He brought with him expertise in transplantation, transplant immunology as well as an established interest in clinical and laboratory research.

The Khon Kaen hospital kidney transplantation program started in 1990 and is amongst the top renal transplantation programs in Thailand, having performed over 400 transplants. However, expertise in  transplant immunology and development of research is important for the program to progress. “We needed an expert to strengthen our knowledge in immunology and guide us on how to initiate a basic science study and improve the quality of the laboratory facilities”, says Sirirat Reungjui from the Faculty of Medicine at Khon Kaen University.

Local doctors need help in establishing ABO incompatible transplantation, paired kidney donation and strategies for dealing with sensitized patients. Dr Cohney adds: “I think that the Thai Transplant Society may benefit from assistance from ISN and the International Transplant Society in communicating with the department of health with respect to legislation surrounding living donor transplantation. Currently, the legislation dictates that donation can only occur to family and this would precluding paired kidney donation.”

The Educational Ambassadors Program helps advance nephrology in the developing world through very concrete hands-on training programs. Dr Cohney found it rewarding “to see the looks of acknowledgement as new information was processed, and a passion for biology was shared”. Learning the mechanics of local healthcare and the specific local sociocultural barriers made the experience was valuable for all.

Reungjui believes the program is great for exchanging experience and developing new knowledge, skill and research. The visit was a starting point for future collaboration in academic activities and patient care. The knowledge that was shared on ABO incompatibility, positive anti-DSA renal transplantation and treating of antibody-mediated rejection will have positive repercussions for transplants in the country.

For more information about the Educational Ambassador Program, CLICK HERE. The next deadline for applications is May 1st, 2014.

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