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Continuing Medical Education Program Improves Kidney Care in Colombia

In the second half of 2019, ISN led two meetings in Colombia providing education on pediatric and adult kidney transplantation and patient accessibility to renal transplantation services.

The ISN-Transplant Society (TTS) Sister Transplant Center (STC) pair, Boston Children´s Hospital and ISN emerging center Fundación Valle del Líli in Cali, Colombia, held a meeting on the immunopathology of kidney transplantation from August 27-28, 2019, in Cali Colombia. This meeting was part of the ISN Continuing Medical Education Program (CME). The guest speaker, Dr. Andres Jaramillo, Director of the Histocompatibility Laboratory and Associate Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, gave several talks over the course of the two-day conference, which included a workshop and laboratory in immunopathology of kidney transplantation.

The ISN Sister Renal Center (SRC) trio, ISN mentoring center Boston Children’s Hospital, ISN supporting center Fundacion Valle del Líli, and and ISN emerging center Hospital Susana López de Valencia in Popayàn, in collaboration with the Colombian Association of Nephrology (ASOCOLNEF) and the Colombian Pediatric Nephrology Association (ACONEPE) held a second meeting on acute and chronic kidney disease, “Renal health for everybody, everywhere”, from October 25-26, 2019, in Popayàn, Colombia. Dr. Francisco Flores, associate professor and consultant at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, USA, was an invited speaker at the event.

According to Dr. Restrepo, the region faces several challenges: the mortality rate of acute kidney disease is high and more training in AKI detection and treatment is needed; there are difficulties communicating with the large aboriginal population with renal diseases in the Southwest region, and Cali is a long distance drive for many, with few direct planes. Popayàn has almost 650 patients in renal replacement therapy (RRT), and Pasto has 900 patients in RRT waiting for kidney transplantation (KTx).

Following these meetings, Popayan received the support necessary to start academic meetings and workshops to enhance RRT and stimulate interest for these programs among the medical population.

Drs. Andrés Jaramillo and Jaume Martorell from the Hospital Clinic, Barcelona, and Edgar Milford from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, support the Fundación Valle del Líli’s kidney immunopathology and tissue typing laboratory development. Plans are currently being made to set up two additional transplant centers in Popayan and Pasto. The ISN SRC and ISN-TTS STC Programs have supported and trained nurses, laboratory professionals, as well as adult and pediatric nephrologists toward launching the transplant program in Popayàn.

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