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Steps towards better renal care in India

My latest trip as ISN President took me to India, where I visited nephrology renal centers in Bangalore and Chennai. I discovered more about local facilities and progress being made to improve care – especially in pediatrics.

The annual meeting of the Indian Society of Nephrology Southern Chapter, in Bangalore was my first stop. One important issue that was raised there was the shocking shortage of nephrologists in India. There are only 1,100 nephrologists for a population of 1.1 billion people. This number is also unevenly distributed and mostly concentrated in urban areas. Moreover, the Southern states have a considerable number of kidney specialists, while the shortage is severe in the North and Northeast.  

In Bangalore, I went to the Pediatric Nephrology Department at St. John’s Medical College Hospital. This is a is a tertiary medical service center with 1,200 beds, offering specialty services with an average 46,000 admissions a year.

Dr. Arpana Iyengar gave me a copy of the Manual of Pediatric Nephrology. The book is the fruit of an ISN Sister Center partnership between Montreal children’s Hospital (Canada) and the Children’s Kidney Care Centre, St John’s Medical College Hospital in Bangalore. It delivers insights into a practical approach to renal diseases in children.

Next, I was in Chennai, at the Nephrology Department of Madras Medical College led by Dr. Natarajan Gopalakrishnan. This unit is 42 years old and is an extraordinary reference center for the region. They take care of poor patients with kidney disease free of charge, including renal transplantation. This center also welcomes acute kidney injury patients from diverse etiology.

My lecture on the “0 by 25” initiative raised a lot of interest there.  

I also visited the Madras Medical Mission, with Dr. Georgi Abraham who leads the nephrology services of this 256 bed quaternary care centre. This hospital is supported by the members of the Indian Orthodox Church community who also raise awareness about preventing kidney disease through screening programs for the underprivileged.
Read more about Giuseppe Remuzzi’s visit to the TANKER Foundation screening program HERE.

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