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Announcing the Recipient of the ISN Schrier Award 2020

The ISN is pleased to announce this year’s recipient of the Schrier Award, which recognizes the most deserving partnership from recently graduated ISN Sister Renal Centers (SRC) Program and ISN-TTS Sister Transplant Centers Program pairs.

The ISN Sister Renal Centers Program chair and deputy chair, the ISN-TTS Sister Transplant Centers Program co-chairs, and the ISN Programs chair reviewed the applications of six SRC pairs and three trio partnerships. All nine collaborations earned significant merit but the jury recognized notable excellence from the SRC Tanzania-Canada partnership between the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in Tanzania and the Queen’s University in Canada. This pair availed of additional ISN Programs to build a strong and durable partnership, achieving successful and sustainable outcomes.

The SRC Program played a crucial role in developing a number of programs at KCMC that aimed to build sustainable and high-quality diagnostic and treatment facilities for kidney diseases, as well as set up research projects in line with local priorities:

  • The Program funded Dr. Kilonzo to complete a two-year ISN Fellowship at the University of Cape Town under the mentorship of Prof. Bryan Rainer. The training, and the additional mentorship provided by Dr. Yeates from the supporting center, equipped Dr. Kilonzo to help set up acute PD and Clinic Care programs at KCMC. The initiative included outpatient nephrology clinics built for the follow-up of patients and eventually became part of the Saving Young Lives Project. Trainees Dr. Suda Ghosh and Dr. Huda Akrabi received ISN Fellowship funding in subsequent years further contributing to the strength of the center.
  • A hemodialysis program was launched that has expanded from an initial 7 chairs to 40 chairs in 2020 and is now active 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
  • Dr. Kilonzo and Dr. Yeates, alongside other young nephrologists, founded the Nephrology Society of Tanzania (NESOT), which meets annually for a scientific conference. The strong network created through the Society has increased lobbying power to petition local government to provide ongoing resources, actively promoting the need for improved kidney health in Tanzania.
  • An annual continuing education program for nephrology nurses was developed: Ms. Emy Cowlan, an experienced hemodialysis nurse trainer from Ontario, visited KCMC twice during the program providing mentorship to nurses and organizing an off-site educational meeting.
  • An ISN Clinical Research grant was awarded to KCMC in 2018 to support an ongoing research study, supervised by Dr. Yeates, to identify risk factors and outcomes of community-acquired AKI in adults and children.
  • KCMC will shortly begin a Sister Transplant Centers partnership with Manchester University in the United Kingdom aiming to build capacity for living donor transplants at KCMC over the coming years.

Having graduated, KCMC is now planning to form a trio to support a new emerging center in Northern Tanzania. Dr. Karen Yeates comments “We honestly feel that the SRC funding has had a real and measurable impact on lives saved in Tanzania through the successive and systematic building of the nephrology program though the SRC partnership.”

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