Kidney experts at Salford Royal are sharing their knowledge with colleagues in Nigeria in a prestigious programme run by the international Society of Nephrology.
The Sister Renal Centre project pairs up existing centres of excellence with renal centres in developing countries to help staff there improve their care of patients. At present, these units have limited resources and few well-trained staff, while many patients can’t access good quality care.
Salford Royal is one of just six UK centres to be appointed to the scheme and will be working with the renal unit of the University Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
The link-up will see staff donating their time for free to train and educate their colleagues in Africa over the next six years.
Dr Ibi Erekosima is one of the doctors who will be involved and he has already visited the centre in Nigeria. He said: “We intend to develop strong clinical and research links with Port Harcourt, which will help our colleagues to deliver high quality care to patients with all types of kidney disease. We will also help them with their vital work in the local community on preventing kidney disease.”
As part of the partnership, Salford Royal’s expert team will be training their Nigerian colleagues in dialysis and care of people who have had kidney transplants as well as general nephrology (kidney medicine). They will support the partner unit with teaching materials, journals and textbooks and also liaise with other renal units in the North West region to donate used dialysis equipment to support the existing poorly resourced dialysis programme.
They also plan to set up chronic kidney diseases clinics in community health centres.
The appointment as a Sister Renal Centre is the latest recognition for Salford Royal’s kidney unit. Over the last 25 years Salford has been the test bed for many of the UK’s improvements in nephrology and also leads the Lancet Global Kidney Health Campaign.
Kidney disease affects between eight and 10 per cent of adults and can be devastating – every year millions of people die prematurely of complications related to chronic kidney disease. But if the condition is detected early and treated, the deterioration in kidney function can be slowed or even stopped.